We Bought A Zoo
Released December 23, 2011
Directed By Cameron Crowe
Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Thomas Haden Church
We Bought A Zoo surprised me on so many different levels. First things first, the premise may sound cliché, but the film’s heartfelt ambition sets it apart from the rest. It is a deeply moving, tear-jerking affair. The film’s emotional depth is simply amazing, with subtle smiles and warm conversations between people who love each other. It’s what makes this film stand in front in a world full of cheaply made, cliché family flicks. In the acting department, all is well and good. A stellar cast consisting of Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church give the movie a nice charm. This isn’t necessarily Damon’s cup of tea, but he pleasantly surprised me, delivering a fantastic performance.
Although We Bought A Zoo is loosely based on a true story about a real zoo, there are many differences. The term “loosely” is fitting, because the real zoo is located in England, not California, and Matt Damon’s character in the real world is British, not American. There are many other differences that I won’t get into because of spoilers, so refer to the web if you are interested. The story line in general is very family friendly and family oriented. The plot makes complete sense and is easy to understand. The film is directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) and overall, delivers a great production. The main flaw of the film is the overall purpose. Sure, the film has a good story and it’s a moving tale, but the fact that it’s so simple brings down the “wow” factor quite a bit. There are no surprises and it tends to be linear and sometimes directionless.
All in all, We Bought a Zoo is great, with a stellar cast, solid acting, top-notch direction, and most of all, a spectacular presentation of human emotion, with a whole lot of heart to go with it.
4 out of 5