by Chrysa Smith

Remember the 1960’s? Or were you a pot-smoking hippie who lost her long-term memory?
Well, regardless, it will all come back to you in the sweet but quirky love story: Moonrise Kingdom.

Set in what appears to be the northernmost coastal towns of the states, the story tells the tale of two seemingly misfit youths who find each other. It not only brings you back to a bygone era, when things were simpler, it reminds you about the things you had as a kid. Plaid schoolbags, Corningware coffee pots, old-fashioned underwear.

The story takes place around a scout camp, where Sam (Jared Gilman), an orphan, decides he’s done with the scouts, and high-tails it out of camp. Along the way, he meets Suzy (Kara Hayward), a binocular-toting girl with physically present, but mentally absentee lawyer parents who are clueless about her feelings and needs. The two fall in love, in a sweet 12 year old way, and decide they are going to forge their own ‘home’ along the coastal shores, aka: Moonrise Kingdom.

The scouts and Suzy’s parents are on alert as they try to track down their missing member/daughter, in the wake of an approaching storm. Bruce Willis plays the coastal captain who’s having an affair with Frances McDormand–the girl’s mother. Bill Murray plays the out-of-touch dad (of Suzy and three younger boys) who seems to want to hide away vs. parent.

Definitely a quirky, arts movie, this tale left me neither enamored nor disgusted, but perhaps reminiscent. Politically-incorrect stereotypes of the day give nicknames to kids according to their physical attributes. I particularly took a liking to ‘Lazy Eye’–the kid with the eye patch. The most memorable aspect was the setting: a time that was early and simple for me–when kids were kids, devoid of electronic devices, trashy mouths or worries of the modern world.