I have a confession. When the wife isn’t home, and the children are sleeping, I enjoy popping on a good ol’ gut-wrencher of a movie and try not to shed a tear. A lie, of course, and my wife knows all too well when I start fidgeting, turning away, rubbing the sleep from my eyes over a mock yawn, I’m just covering emotions I’d soon keep to myself. Why? That’s a therapy session I’m not keen on admitting to or sharing.

Searching, a movie (not manuscript related, but writing is writing, and someone DID write the script) starring John Cho (one of my favorites), Debra Messing, Joseph Lee (XXII? Seriously?), and written by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian, just slipped its way in to my top 10 movies of all time.

Image from IMDB

SIDE NOTE: After seeing the layout of the movie, which is told through a mix of social media, phone cameras, videos, and surveillance (as if it’s you looking at an Apple screen, which, bleh, but I get it), I realize I have not an iota of the organizational skill required to maintain a family portfolio of any sort. It’s… well we’ll just leave it at that.

The movie (NO SPOILERS) sets up simply enough. Daughter goes missing, father searches using his daughter’s laptop-and this is as far as I’ll go revealing the plot. Seriously, if you need more information, Google it.

Searching is one of those movies, upon seeing the trailer, looked cool, but not $50.00 at the movie theater type of cool. Maybe it’s the tired movie through-eyes-of-your-cellphone genre (Cloverfield, as an example, is the only other cam-cap flick I enjoyed), but I had no desire to “look through the eyes of the camera” again. Don’t say it! I know what you’re thinking… Just don’t.

It’s sad when you think about it, as to how a genre can be overplayed so much you don’t have the stomach to watch another, no matter how good the movie might be, which is a shame because this movie NEEDS to be seen by every parent whose children are hooked into social media. Again, I don’t want to dig too deep into what David Kim (John Cho-the man and legend) discovers in his searches, but it so begs the question: How well do you know your kids? How far do you go to protect them without smothering them into mental fatigue?

I don’t have the answer, because, like David Kim (John Cho-the man and legend), I trust my teen. I believe she strives to make good decisions, own up to mistakes, and find ways to fix them. If I give her money to pay for something, I don’t question her to do the right thing, because I am raising her to do the right thing. She’s a reflection of how I wished I was, not who I was, and I’m damned proud of that fact. So was Margot—at least in David’s eyes (played by multiple actresses, though the teen version is by Michelle La), until it’s suggested she isn’t (ouch).

Aneesh and Sev masterfully crafted the same (and so many more) questions on trust so subtly, I found myself sort-of growing with David. I hurt when he hurt, cursed when Margot’s acquaintances suddenly became her best friends—because-SOCIAL F-ING MEDIA. People, that is a talent, and my God, hats off to the writers. Hats off to the director. When you want to move the on-screen mouse in a moment of tension (there are many of these moments), you’ll understand the work leading to these masterfully crafted points. It’s awesome.

Again, not about a book, nor about my work. It’s okay. Mark the chapter you’re at in whatever book you’re reading, grab a box of tissues, maybe even a hot-cocoa (do this part for me, my diabetes doesn’t allow it and sugar-free cocoa sucks), and rent this flick. It’s worth the money.

Available on STARZ in the month of June and on any streaming rental service (guessing it is, I’m not confirming if there’s any truth to this blanket statement).

If you’ve seen it, leave a comment!

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