Are they clueless or do they really know?

Last night, I watched “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” with my husband. It’s been on my list since this summer when I watched him giggling at the movie as it played on his screen on our return trip from Paris. It’s takes a lot to make him giggle, especially if it’s a kids movie. After watching the movie, I now understand why he found it so amusing. The main character in the movie was an intense, focused, and creative young man named Flint. He had an understanding mother when he was young and a completely clueless father. The people in his community usually ignored him or made fun of him, even one character bullied the young man several times in the movie. Many of his inventions failed but he was determined to find a way to make food to save his city. There were several funny situations resulting from his failures that my husband could relate to.

The main character did not have any friends, except for his monkey, until he met the young female announcer, Sam. What I found fascinating about their relationship was how many times the young announcer spouted off a string of scientific terms and then apologized and rephrased what she said in simpler terms. It wasn’t until the main character asked her why she did this that the viewer finds out that she had remodeled herself from a geek to someone considered popular.

I wonder if the writers and producers of the movie realized that they were portraying two gifted individuals? Did they do research on gifted children or did they recall experiences they either had seen happening to their peers as they grew up? Were they writing from personal experience? Are any of them related to an gifted education researcher or teacher or raising their own exceptional children? Or are they clueless about the challenges of being on the high end of different?

If they truly know about the challenges of being overly intense, creative, determined, or masquerading as someone else, here is my suggestion….let’s appeal to the writers and producers of these movies to advocate for our gifted individuals at all ages. Imagine the impact that writers and producers of movies would have on funding decisions at all levels from the local school boards to the federal government. Even if funding did not increase, there would be an increase in understanding and patience with the issues that gifted children face as they grow up in today’s world.


  1. Teresa said:

    I wondered the same thing when I watched that movie! I saw my own students in the main characters immediately! I teach 3rd/4th age students at a new charter school (really new…we’ve been open since August 2010!) that is designed specifically with the gifted and 2E kids in mind. It’s the most fabulous and wonderful place to teach!! I love watching them think and problem solve…and love listening to them spout off strings of scientific language 🙂 And most of all, I love that they are able to be accepted and loved and challenged in our school. I’m seeing so many of them just blossom into fabulous human beings!

    January 16, 2011
  2. I think movies are wonderful vehicles for examining and illustrating giftedness. This movie is an excellent example. I too often wonder whether or not the intent was to leave a secret message about giftedness in an unassuming movie, or if it was all an accident. Seems too coincidental to me.

    Great post. Now I’ll have to go rent that movie again! 🙂


    January 17, 2011
  3. Tiffanie Pierce said:

    I often think movies like that have been written by those who have experienced such things in their own life. Presently, I am teaching a gifted sixth grade student who struggles with his interactions with his peers. I’ve often talked with him about how he can learn to relate to his peers, for he often expresses sadness about not having friends. He is a gifted writer who one day might create a movie similar to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”.

    February 9, 2011
  4. It’s as if you wrote what was going on in my mind when I watched the movie. More people in positions of credibility need to tell stories about the experience of being a gifted kid and feeling different but coming out the other side feeling happy and successful. Our kiddos need those story tellers!

    April 12, 2011

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