A Father’s Pride Skips The Flaws

What Kit Kittridge: An American Girl (2008) Taught Me

When I used to work in Radio, I took on some extra work and became the resident film critic. For me, it was a perfect transition. I was able to see a lot of movies and I had a chance to write a review to post on the website. Sometimes, I’d even get on air if it was a big enough film.

There was this one time that I’ll never forget.  I had to review a movie and for the life of me, I really didn’t want to be there. I was tired, my allergies were flaring up, and the movie was one that I knew was going to bomb.  It did by the way.  Have you heard of Kit Kittridge: An American Girl.  I would place a bet that even if you have, you haven’t sat through it.

Prior to these screenings, they do announcements, and in this case, the director was there to say a few words.

She wanted to acknowledge her father. She said that if it weren’t for him she would have never accomplished her life-long dream to be a filmmaker. Her father stood up and we applauded politely. Then the film began to roll. I have to admit, I was right. There wasn’t much here and it probably was going to tank. I wrote my notes getting a clear vision in my head about how I was going to write my review.

The credits came up, and the house lights were back on. I gathered my belongings and started to head down the stairs. Now, this next part – I don’t really know what took over my body, but I felt I needed to do this.

I saw the director’s father. He was watching the credits roll.  He watched each line scroll as if was the first film he’d ever seen. I took a look back up at the screen and then down to him.  This man watching the names go by literally stopped me dead in my tracks. I bent over and put my hand on the elderly gentleman’s shoulder and I said one word. “Congratulations.”

His eyes swelled with tears as he looked up to my face.  A smile drew back that creased his face with wrinkles. He couldn’t find his words to respond. He was just so proud of his daughter. He simply mouthed “Thank you.”

Now, at that moment I swelled with pride as well. I hadn’t made the movie and he didn’t know that I was a critic. But his smile is something I’m not going to forget.

We all have the ability to do something completely out of character that can affect others in positive ways.  The part they don’t tell you is that you’ll be better for it.

First lesson:  By simply being a part of the world – and being a good part – you have the power to affect change.

This is the story I wrote about for that review. I think there’s more to a movie than what you see on the screen. You see, long after I’ve forgotten the names of the actors, or what this movie was all about, I still remember that man’s smile.  And how he couldn’t find words through his pride.

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