I went to see The Emoji Movie on opening night and I didn’t hate it.
I wasn’t particularly thrilled about it because none of the trailers got my gears going. But, because I’m a mother who loves her child, despite his chomping at the bit to see the film, I obliged. I believe these are the sacrifices and struggles of parenthood that would have an entire chapter in the parenting handbook if it existed.
Prior to heading to the theater, I’d seen the 0% Rotten Tomatoes rating (now at a whopping 6%…watch out The Wizard of Oz) so I’ll admit I was going in with an expectation that it was going to be bad, bad, BAD. There was even an anomalously long wait at the concession stand that compounded the build up to getting my butt in a theater seat to watch what was surely about to be “the worst movie of all time”.
ABOUT THE EMOJI MOVIE
This animated comedy takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone that’s inhabited by various emojis. There, an emoji named Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is ashamed that he has multiple facial expressions while his colleagues only have one each, and he embarks on a quest to be like everyone else. James Corden, Anna Faris, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart, and Maya Rudolph also lend their voices to this film from Sony Pictures Animation.
Sure, the storyline and the jokes were wrapped in the common, sometimes overdone, critical social media tropes. Beyond that, though, there were profound statements about individuality (though the film synopsis above doesn’t really portray that so much) and the nuances of perceived importance based on favoritism. A rampant societal epidemic that internet/technology users of all ages are victims of. The struggle for Hi-5 (James Corden) to get back in the favorites lounge alludes to the desperation to be on top in a space or realm of overall unimportance.
One line in particular stuck out to me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Jailbreak (Anna Faris) is having a reality check moment with Gene (T.J. Miller) and delivers the line “What’s the point in being Number One if there are no other numbers?” A profundity uttered in the film’s “Loser Lounge” for an added layer of irony. It speaks so many truths and, as a parent, is possibly the one reason I would highly recommend taking your kids to see The Emoji Movie.
It’s one thing to want to be the best you. But if we are all constantly trying to be the best over everyone, there’s no one at the end of the day to be impressed.
What it boils down to is this. The Emoji Movie is not as bad as the critics say. I encourage you to consume the movie and its story and characters from the least cynical place you can muster.
It’s fun to ? on a ? when everyone’s doing it. Don’t be so ?.