The other day I was being lazy, flipping through channels, and on one of the family networks they were showing “The Boy Who Could Fly”. I was so happy! My sister and I LOVED this movie growing up! Who didn’t want to fly as a kid? But watching it as an adult…sheesh. I didn’t realize how dark it really was. How was this classified as a “family” movie?
The movie is about a family who moves to a new town after their father passes away (er, um, of a suicide so he wouldn’t have to cope with terminal illness). Millie befriends Eric, the boy next door, who lives with his (alcoholic) uncle (because Eric’s parents died in a plane crash) and has never spoken a word (the film alludes that Eric is autistic). Eric is seen by Millie standing on the roof of his house with his arms stretched out pretending to be an airplane, and later taken in a straight jacket by some men and shoved in a mental hospital. Family friendly for you yet?
Anyway, Eric comes back and a teacher at school notices he has taken a shine to Millie and asks if she can help out Eric by tutoring him and basically being his wingman, so to speak. The more Millie gets to know Eric, the more intrigued she is by him. His strange movements make her wonder if she is going crazy or if there really is something special about him.
Further into the movie you get more institutionalizations (hey! Didn’t need a spell check!), a dog hit by a car, visions of a corpse, bullying, the usual family flick mix. The end is bittersweet, and the movie has a side story with Millie’s younger brother Louis (Fred Savage!!!) that is really cute and heartbreaking at the same time.
I give this movie 5 Hed stars. «««««
One last thing-while fact-checking over at Wiki I found out that my favorite favorite favorite song by Thrice, “A Song for Millie Michaelson”, is based on this movie. Holy crap. I couldn’t find the actual trailer for this movie, but I did find one based on the song that’s awesome. Go listen to it, its BEAUTIFUL!