Saturday, February 10, 2007


Roy Eberhardt is a typical teen who's moved with his family to different areas of the country six times in the last eight years. His Dad is on the fast track at work, and the bottom-line is his promotions cause his son to be the new kid in school more often than not. Roy's been bullied a lot, and he's learned how to fight back.

Develop a plan, stick to it and don't back down.

Bullying behavior is central to the theme of Hoot. The movie tells the story of three teens who fight against the development of property that is home to several families of burrowing owls. The development company bullies most everyone to get the property developed quickly, regardless of the owls. The kids--Roy and his friends--act on behalf of the owls, believing the vulnerable birds need help to avoid being ousted from their homes.

Hoot clearly strives to be more message movie than entertainment, which allows for some characters to be cartoonish, and poorly developed. And the obvious message of the film may make some non-tree huggers frustrated. It's a simple film, really, with a simple message:

We humans make a lot of noise, and disrupt a lot of nature in our efforts to make a buck. Sometimes we need reminded to be quiet, and simply listen to what's going on around us.

That's a fine message, and one I buy into. But, Hoot would have made the point better, I think, had Jimmy Buffett not played a supporting role in the flick. I admit to not being a fan of the Parrot Head, but I'm even less a fan of his commercial efforts. I've seen too many neon "Margaritaville" signs across the south--and too many overpriced T-shirts sold in his gift shops--to buy anything Buffett is selling about the enviornment and commercialism.

Despite Hoot not being really well developed, I liked it. And, so did my kids, even after the snacks were gone. That says something, anyway.

1 comment:

jedi jawa said...

Interesting to hit consumer culture with an anti-consumer message using a consumer medium. Yeah, it looked like a bad idea.

One of the women who works with Mrs. Jawa has a brother who does this bit as some sort of Buffet impersonator-performer. He's pretty good, I've seen him play. Apparently, he was used as a stand-in for the real Buffet in the film and even made it into a few scenes. I don't care enough to try to go figure out which scenes though.