Little Miss Sunshine vs. The American Girls Revue
We recently had the opportunities to see the above presentations and thoroughly enjoyed both for some of the same reasons. Having had no daughters to raise, these were both quite new and "foreign" to us. We are only now properly trying to "spoil" our only granddaughter. She is such a beautiful and smart child who is being brought up with such love and understanding that it is going to be very hard to "spoil" her too much.
When we heard that our grand daughter was celebrating her 8th Birthday at the American Girl Place in L.A. we just had to "invite" ourselves. It was an experience we didn't want to miss in her growing up. My wife had gotten "into" giving her doll clothes and the dolls over the past year or so. Having four sons, she had missed all that. The fact that there are only 3 Am. Girl Stores in the country and this one was only about 2+ hours away at our "old stomping grounds" (The Farmer's Market) in West L.A. at The Grove was also an attraction. We arrived early and checked it all out. Much of the Farmer's Market is gone but my wife was pleased to see some of the old booths were still there. The old metal tables were too. We sat and had a cup of iced coffee.(we usually, over the years, had a "hottle" of coffee) Then we just sat and "people watched" for an hour or so.
The Am. Girl Place is actually quite a large 2-story building with every, and I mean every accoutrimont (sp?) one could think of for a doll. This is the essense of "marketing" and "packaging" for a "niche" client. We had reservations with the family at the restaurant with special "chairs" for the dolls. In this case it was "Molly" and "Kirsten". The menu was perfect for a luncheon with such patrons who might attend. Our grandson somewhat reluctantly got into it. He bit the cut out cheese hearts into "underpants" and pretended that his flower on his dessert was poison. We got some good pictures. We then went to the "Musical Revue" which was just excellent. In it, girls of all ages acted, sang and danced original numbers depicting the "thematic dolls" through our American History. Of course, it was all about what they had overcome, heroines for all ages. It was well done, well rehearsed, performed and kept our wee charges wrapped in attention. We all got to sing the "Anthem" standing at the end..."brave, true, best we can do, dare, dream, care, reach out, belong, friend, helping hand, own voice, strong, be the best that we can be..." Then, of course, there was shopping to do for the dolls, with "twin outfits for their owners". Furniture and every accessory was there for the right price. Lastly, Kirsten just had to have her hair "done" with helpful hints on how to braid it properly. It was such a nice day we didn't even mind the 3 hr. traffic (pre-Labor Day getaway) we fought going home.
Yesterday we had a two hour window to see a movie which had been highly recommended. It was such fun. We laughed out loud through most of it. "Little Miss Sunshine" is the story of a very disfunctional family that has this wonderful daughter who wants to enter a contest called "Little Miss Sunshine". It is not in wide distribution so we couldn't go to our usual theater. We think that they may have kept it rather low-key since it came out just about the time of the resurfacing of the tragic Jon-Benet Ramsey case. It is very dark humor and not for kids. In a way though it has some of the same messages as the "Am. Girls Revue"...just taken to the "extreme". It reminded me of that old Chevy Chase movie "Vacation" with grandma strapped to the top of the car...this time it's grandpa. Enough said. Allen Arkin and Greg Kinear were at their best. "Olive" the title role was so innocently played by an unknown with glasses.(didn't catch her name) Needless to say we saw all kinds of connections to our own family...not really. Humor helps. Bob!