We Bought a Zoo – Review and Competition

Mimi ON Mar 14, 2012 AT 9:30 am

Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo

You can’t quite believe that We Bought a Zoo is based on a true story,  and especially one based here in the UK, if only we could find Matt Damon in Dartmoor. So the story starts with widower Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon), who is a reporter more used to putting his life on the line to get a story, than playing Dad to his two children. In We Bought a Zoo, his children are suffering the loss of their mother and getting used to Dad, who has handed in his notice, taking on the role of nurturer and running the household. The film is about connecting the family and finding the joy again in being together but in entirely new surroundings.

Predatory mothers at the school gates fill his fridge with lasagne ‘for four’ and it is obvious that he is going to have to do something fairly drastic to pull the whole family out of the downward spiral they have started to embark on. Enter the very funny JB Smoove (you may know him as Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm) on his first day as an estate agent, who has the challenging task of finding the family a new home.

House-hunting for a fresh start finds him checking out a large house in a perfect country location with one major draw-back, it’s actually home to a zoo. Benjamin’s head tells him this is one challenge too far but seeing the joy on the face of his young daughter as she discovers the zoo animals, he decides to heed his own life premise that ‘all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come out of it‘ and buy the zoo.

Moving his family away from the city, Benjamin Mee has six months to turn around the tumble-down zoo with the help of the staff, including the quirky female zoo-keeper played by Scarlett Johansson, who has dedicated her life (and so far sacrificed her love life) to the zoo and its animals. The film takes you on an emotional journey that is really uplifting and feel good, even though our screening did have a few tears and sobs from the Mums. Matt Damon is great as the very lovable dad, we really didn’t mind he’d lost his abs and his Bourne Identity, we are totally ready to embrace him in a cosy navy crew neck and Hunter wellies. Cameron Crowe delivers his usual film soundtrack of delights, including the very joyful Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl. Very cute family film, the supporting cast of misfit zoo helpers were fun, and I think this one will keep the whole family entertained, especially Mum. Two hours of peace, staring at Matt Damon, I can feel the relaxation in the room.

Check out the film’s trailer..

The 20th Century Fox film, We Bought a Zoo, is based on the true story of Benjamin Mee and his family who took over Dartmoor Zoological Park in Devon in 2006.

Ever felt like throwing all your cards up in the air and starting over? If you had a secret dream of escaping your current life and embarking on an adventure what would that adventure be?

Twentieth Century Fox have given us a fantastic prize of pure indulgence to help you escape the ordinary, so please leave a comment to tell us what your dream adventure would be. One lucky winner will win the following -

The prize is a Detox Package at Dove Spa (23 UK Locations)  including a Full Body Scrub, Detox Wrap, Brightening Mini Facial and a £30 Travel Allowance. Leave a comment to enter!

For further information and updates please follow We Bought a Zoo on Facebook too.

UK Release Date 16th March 2012

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