Summer Shorts: Goodbye to the Normals

11-Jun-10 11:00 AM by
Filed under Films; 1 comment.

The last two summer shorts were diverse in matter — one a dark animated film, the other an upbeat pilot for a live-action series — but both prompted questions about life and relationships. After such weighty subjects, I thought it timely to consider something more lighthearted. So say hello to Goodbye to the Normals (note: the film ends with a swear word):

This film is four years old, during which time all three actors have had extensive television acting careers. Most of their credits would be unrecognizable to American audiences, save for Magnus (Alfie Field), who just two months ago appeared on an episode of Dr. Who.

Most fictional intelligent children are saddled with some shortcoming, whether it's a lack of social manners or a tenuous grasp of reality. Magnus is no exception, but at least he doesn't seem to suffer from it, as he instead possesses a clarity of intention and an unfaltering determination. Although I can imagine a child being this precocious, the parents are unbelievable pushovers. Magnus' concern over his lunch's quality may be well-intentioned, but his manner of expression should've earned him a spanking. Of course, that's what makes it so funny, so I'll let it slide.

As an aside, Magnus' choice of destination is curious; being an American, I've had my share of friends who were eager to move out of this country, and few wanting to move to it. I'm curious if the statistics show the number of Americans living abroad has changed disproportionately in the past decade.

If your child was this intent on running away, would you take it as seriously as Magnus' parents did? How would you stop him?

One Response to “Summer Shorts: Goodbye to the Normals”

  1. peterw adds:

    LOL! How would I stop him? I wouldn't!

    I vaguely remember one (at least) of my kids threatening to run away, and while far less dramatic, the script seemed remarkably familiar! Our destination was local, and Fair Trade sandwiches didn't get mentioned, but I do remember offering to help pack.

    Basically, a threat to run away from a young child is usually about attention and shock, so if you're not acting shocked it tends to take the wind out of their sails! :-)