Published Feb 01, 2005Some films, like The Incredibles or Monsters Inc., have the ability to transcend market barriers. The high level of craftsmanship charms adults and children alike. Because Of Winn Dixie is not one of those films. Adults will feel their teeth itch after ingesting all the sugary sentiment. Kids, however, will eat it up. (Let's face it. They don't know any better yet.)
Winn Dixie is the kind of film that begs you to like it. India Opal moves to a small Florida town and asks God through prayer for some friends, as she can't seem to make any on her own. But after meeting Winn Dixie (a dog) at a local supermarket of the same name, she meets and charms many local eccentric townspeople and a good time is had by all. It's Opal's dialogue that's hard to stomach; she exists in the kind of cinematic world where people just out-and-out ask you to be their friend. Or say things like, "I like you! I surely do!"
But like I've already said, this movie's for kids. It should be pointed out that the story labours to highlight a noble message. Miss Gloria Dump, one of Opal's friends, has liquor bottles hanging from a tree in her backyard as a reminder of all the mistakes she's made while drunk. Another of her pals, Otis (played by Dave Matthews), is persecuted by local police because he spent time in jail for assault.
Though the message of forgiveness is respectable enough, the package is tart. If you're not bringing the kiddies, you might want to give Because Of Winn Dixie a pass. Too much sugar can rot your teeth. (Fox)