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Movie Review: Finding Neverland

Alternate Title: I Won't Grow Up!

Story: Growing up is overrated. If you are a fan of the classic story of Peter Pan you too will enjoy this delightful romp back to a less complicated time. This largely fictionalized account of the origins of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan is brought to the screen by director Marc Foster (Monster's Ball) with a fine script by David Magee from the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allen Knee.

The film has a perfect blend of warmth, heartbreak and imagination. The classic story of Neverland has kept audiences coming back for a century and there does not seem to be any let up in sight.

The questions surrounding the relationship of J.M. Barrie with the four boys and their mother, who seemed to have inspired his creative juices, is glossed over in this PG rated film. If Peter Pan did not have such a special place in my heart that would have bothered me. But, let's face it - the whole idea of Neverland is that you can escape the real world and not have to grow up and deal with its problems.

I wonder if Jet Blue will soon have flights to Neverland? I want to book early and often.

If you are interested in seeing some photos of J.M. Barrie and his world check out this website: www.jmbarrie.co.uk/

Acting: I admit to joining the Johnny Depp bandwagon late. I am happy to include him in my growing list of favorites. He is terrific in this film and has reached a perfect stage of adult-child. It works terrifically in this man-boy-as creative artist role. Kate Winslett is always good and has finally kept her clothes on in a film. All of the 'lost' boys are good and it is always nice to watch Julie Christie.

Predilection: I like Peter Pan (except for he Disney cartoon).

Critters: A wonderful New Foundland dog named Pothos.

Visual Art: Lovely sets and period decor.

Theater Audience: Much more crowded than I anticipated with a delighted audience.

Drift Range: Did not drift at all.

Squirm Scale: 0

Predictability Level: High (you do not have to be an avid filmgoer to know when a character coughs - it is not a good sign of things to come).

Tissue Usage: You would have to have the heart of Captain Hook not to well up a bit.

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: There are no nits in Neverland.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen. For some other Johnny Depp films try renting: Pirates of the Caribbean, Blow, Chocolat, Before Night Falls, Sleepy Hollow, Donnie Brasco, Don Juan DeMarco, Ed Wood, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Benny & Joon. Edward Scissorhands and Crybaby.

Length: 100 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 8