Matt Damon ... Benjamin Mee
Scarlett Johansson ... Kelly Foster
Colin Ford ... Dylan Mee
Maggie Elizabeth Jones ... Rosie Mee
It must be very disappointing for Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson to be upstaged by a seven-year-old child (played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones), but that is exactly what happened in this Disney family movie. I am not going to go as far as to say that I loved the film, because for me, the movie did not get interesting until we were two-thirds of the way in -- and that is just a bit too far. The scene between Damon and his fourteen-year-old son Dylan, played by Colin Ford, is what opened up this formulaic adaptation, it just took too long to get to the good stuff.
Based on the book by Benjamin Mee, the family is in turmoil following the death of Ben’s wife and the family is in desperate need of a getaway. Not just physically, but emotionally, so when Ben and Rosie go house hunting a curious thing happens. The perfect house is available, the only stipulation, a small zoo is also part of the package.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
With no experience and very limited funds, Ben jumps in with both feet, and is able to turn the place into a home for both his family and the abandoned animals.
As I said, this film is based very loosely on a book by Benjamin Mees. The Mee’s zoo is actually located in England whereas the fictional Rosemoor Wildlife Park is portrayed to be located in California. There are a couple of facts that are toyed with, but for a child going to see this movie, that does not matter. The animals are adorable and Rosie will appeal to even the hardest heart.
There have been some complaints about the language used by the 7-year-old daughter, but for me that was not too big of a deal. That is how some children talk, and to be honest, it was a funny scene.
Do I recommend it, yes, but only if you are not expecting high drama and like a little sugar coating.