Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

I remember reading a celebrity news/gossip blog last year sometime, and they were talking about this movie that Natalie Portman had done where she had done some steamy scene in which she was wearing nothing but a pair of socks for the majority of it. And I thought to myself…"who in the crap would want to see that?" You know…besides perverts. Hee hee. Well, I didn’t know the name of the movie, and then out came Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which I knew nothing about…except that it starred Natalie Portman. So…putting two and two together and getting 7…I assumed that this Magic Emporium was some sort of dirty “adult” store, owned by some disgusting dirty old sicko named Mr. Magorium, in which Natalie paraded around nude all the time. I was disgusted with the kinds of movies that they make these days.

Turns out…I was wrong. Thankfully. Apparently…when she’s not doing cameo spots in the nude, Natalie Portman can make a really cute family movie. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is the story of the coolest toy store in the world. Why is it so cool? Because it’s magical. Things in the store are alive…which makes playing with them a LOT more fun…because you don’t just play with them…they play with you! Mr. Magorium, played by Dustin Hoffman, has been running the store for over a hundred years…and he’s finally thinking it might be time to leave the store to someone else.

Enter Natalie Portman…(who is fully clothed for the entire movie)…as Molly Mahoney. She has worked at the store for years and looks to Mr. Magorium with the utmost affection. She loves him and loves working for him…and is inspired by the magic that he shares with the world. Understandably, she’s not so excited to hear that he’s leaving, and entirely overwhelmed by the thought that he would leave the store to her. It is only through his guidance that she will see whether or not she has what it takes to direct the magic once Mr. Magorium is gone.

There are two other main characters in the movie. Eric, a little boy who hasn’t got any friends outside of Molly and Mr. Magorium, spends all of his time in the shop. He loves playing…but doesn’t have anyone to play with. There is also Henry, an accountant who is hired by Mr. Magorium to get his financial affairs in order before his departure. Henry is also friendless, because he works all of the time, and hasn’t got a mind to grasp the magic that surrounds him in the store. Eric, who has never been able to make a friend, steps out of his comfort zone to reach out to Henry…and they kind of complete each other…in a non-creepy way. Henry is someone that Eric can connect with...for the first time ever...and Eric is able to help Henry see the reality of the store around him. It seems like Eric doesn’t have a father…(we do see his mother, who is concerned about his lack of friends)...and maybe on some level, Henry fills that role for him.

Overall…I really liked the movie. It’s definitely fun for kids and the young at heart, and is one that I would totally want to see again. I’m a sucker for toys, and magic, and last but not least, fully dressed lead characters.