This weekend I took my nephews to see The Peanuts Movie. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a big fan of comics… I was most excited for the popcorn, and of course, to spend time with my nephews… and the popcorn!
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Such great messages. I was cheering for Charlie Brown throughout the movie but he’s Charlie Brown and so he fails at almost everything he does and has a considerable string of bad luck. And you would think that he would just give up. Give up trying to fly a kite, trying to kick the football, but he doesn’t. Surprisingly he is an optimist who believes that maybe this time it will work for him. Life isn’t easy for Charlie Brown but he doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself, well he does a little bit, but can you blame him? Most of the time he just keeps pushing forward.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison
The little red headed girl makes an appearance in the movie. As always, Charlie Brown is very interested in her but he is too nervous to talk to her. He doesn’t think he’s good enough. He thinks he’s a failure. Every time he sets out to impress her, something goes wrong, in true Charlie Brown fashion. At one point there is a talent show. Charlie Brown believes that if he wins the talent competition the little red headed girl will be impressed by him. He practices and practices until he perfects his magic show. But when it’s time for him to go on stage he has a decision to make. Does he help his sister Sally, who is very upset about her performance or does he perform his own act in hopes of impressing the little red headed girl? Charlie Brown puts his own interest aside and he helps his sister.
At the school dance, the male and the female winners of the dance competition get to dance with each other. So Charlie Brown teaches himself to dance and practices and practices until he is an amazing dancer. On the day of the dance the little red headed girl wins the female competition and Charlie Brown gets up to dance. He shows off his moves and impresses everyone, and then…. he sets off the sprinkler, everyone leaves and he doesn’t get to dance with the little red headed girl.
Charlie Brown was honoured at an assembly for achieving a perfect score on a test. The entire school was cheering for him. When he went on stage to receive the award he was given a copy of the test. As he looked at the paper he realized that it wasn’t actually his, somebody else had achieved the perfect score. He could have gone along with it and pretended it was his. Instead he admitted that the test wasn’t his, that he couldn’t accept the award.
The little red headed girl was absent the day a book report was assigned. Charlie Brown took it upon himself to do it for them both. He wanted to read the greatest book of all time (to impress her). He spent the entire weekend reading War and Peace (also the longest book of all time!) He didn’t stop reading because he wanted the little red headed girl to notice him. He wrote an amazing book report, and then…. it was shredded in the school yard by a passing airplane. (It happens)
Every chance that Charlie Brown took to impress the little red headed girl ended in failure. It never stopped him from trying though.
** Spoiler Alert **
At the end of the movie, Charlie Brown stops the little red headed girl as she is getting on the bus for summer camp. He is feeling defeated. He tried and tried but believed he wasn’t able to do anything to impress her. The little red headed girl tells Charlie Brown that she admires him for doing the right thing. For putting his sister’s feelings ahead of his own and helping her at the talent competition, for being honest and admitting that it wasn’t his test, for thinking of her and doing the book report and for making an effort to learn how to dance.
Sometimes we try too hard. We think we have to go out of our way to be “special” for people to like us. In reality, people are most attracted to us when we are just ourselves and out there doing the right thing.