Since the release is a little far off, I just saw the film, and considering Fox asked me to hold my review until opening day, I decided only providing brief thoughts on Cameron Crowe’s latest would be the most suitable option.
In short: I love this movie.
A few days ago, like everyone else, I rushed to see The Muppets and found it thoroughly charming. We Bought a Zoo, in comparison, makes that level of heart-warming seem like child’s play. Yes, Cameron Crowe’s film is that sweet and tender, and not in a schmaltzy or dopey way, either. Crowe finds that comforting warmness he usually tends to capture with his great casts and rocking soundtracks, both more than present here with Matt Damon’s excellent performance and Jónsi’s lovely score.
If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is going to be the “feel-bad” movie of Christmas, then this is certainly going to go down as the ultimate “feel-frickin’-great” movie of Christmas. It’s full of such heart and humanism it drives me crazy trying to figure out where Crowe gets his optimism. He loves people, apparently. If you’re a cynical and cold-hearted bastard who hates everyone and everything (yes, you), the Almost Famous director will manage to make you love people… at least for the film’s two hour run-time.
Expect my full – and even more hyperbolic – review closer to the December 23rd release. More importantly, be smart and see this smile-inducing film, especially with your family, come Christmas.