Everything I need to know, I learned from 'Hook'
There are few movies that mean as much to me as Hook does. It is in my top 10 favorite movies of all-time and sometimes I make people choose between Jumanji and Hook even though I can’t really decide for myself. (I think it’s Hook if I absolutely had to choose.) I really, really love Peter Pan and all variations of it and since Pan came out on Friday, I figured it was a great time to visit some of the best versions of Peter Pan. With no further ado, my personal favorite.
1. Soundtracks are important.
I am just going to go ahead and start this with saying that I’m pretty sure Hook is tied with Home Alone for my favorite movie scores of all time. I honestly usually have the main Hook theme stuck in my head and I am literally never mad about it. Play me to sleep, John Williams.
2. No one wants to grow up.
But we all have to so please, as an adult, don’t do these things:
a) answer the cell phone at your daughter’s play
b) yell at your kids for being kids
c) miss every baseball game
d) say something like “my word is my bond” if you don’t ACTUALLY MEAN IT PETER
Adults are the worst.
3. Airplane safety matters.
Though to be completely honest, I still don’t really know what that thing is that falls down when Jack is hitting the compartment with his baseball. Like, I know it’s oxygen but when I was a kid I thought it was like a bunch of orange peels or something and I just can’t let that idea go. That all being said, Peter is really afraid of flying and Jack isn’t that sensitive to that fact. Neither is Maggie actually, since she draws a nice family picture of him falling out of the plane without a parachute. Super chill kids, Peter.
4. London is a magical place for children.
So says Moira and I believe her. I have never been but you know all of the best stories take place in England for a reason!! Take me there. It is magical for adults as well. (Moira also says that so it must be true.)
5. Kids > Work
This is a NO DUH lesson hopefully but you know, the ’90s were full of movies about dads who neglected their kids and this is definitely one of the best. Peter Banning eventually learns that nothing is more important than family but for the first half of the movie, he’s kind of the worst. Once he discovers himself however, he’s the best dad ever.
6. Food fights are fun.
When the Lost Boys have finally helped shape Peter Banning back into Peter Pan, they all decide to have a delicious feast of invisible food. Well, it’s invisible until you believe in it and then it’s like colored goo that they all end up throwing at one another. There is nothing better than a food fight, but my mom definitely would not agree with that statement. She wasn’t amused when we replicated this scene in the kitchen.
7. Jealousy affects everyone.
One of my favorite fictional characters in all of everything forever is Tinkerbell and undoubtedly my favorite Tinkerbell is played by the wonderful Julia Roberts. I love Roberts’ Tink with her short red hair and her spicy personality and her willingness to admit how she feels about Peter. I always cry when she finally grows big and tells Peter how she feels.
It is okay to be jealous and it is okay to be in love with someone that you will never have and it is okay to admit that to yourself and move on. Even if you are a fairy living in Neverland. (Oh and also there’s the whole “Peter Pan jealousy” that Peter accuses Rufio of possessing. That’s okay too.)
8. Rediscovering yourself is important.
The most important takeaway from Hook, at least in my opinion, is that it is never too late to find yourself again. Peter Banning could not be more different from his younger self but with the help of a group of ruffians and a fairy that truly believes in him, he is able to access the person he really is inside. He also saves his kids and his marriage at the same time, so that’s kind of nice.
I know it’s just a movie but I like this reminder. I probably will never have a full “bangarang” moment in my life, but I never say never!
9. There can be more than one leader.
Okay well obviously I am not going to write an entire column about Hook and never shoutout RU-FI-OHHHH because I’m not crazy / I am clearly very committed to the ’90s. With all that being said, besides Rufio being really cute and strong and tough and heroic, Rufio is a leader. Rufio is the Lost Boy who stepped up when Peter Pan left them and he is the one who earned the respect of everyone throughout his time as the main leader. When Peter returns to Neverland, some of the Lost Boys are willing to take him right back but Rufio (as true leaders should be) is hesitant because you cannot just blindly trust adults, you guys! It is a really touching moment when Rufio accepts Peter back as the true Pan but Peter does a really phenomenal job of sharing the responsibility with him.
10. Life is a great adventure.
Though the original line is, “to die will be an awfully big adventure,” one of the glorious things about Hook is how it spins the story of Peter Pan into something more modern (for the time) and something inspiring (still to this day). Peter has finally realized that living is what your life is all about rather than “cell phones and fax machines,” or whatever crazy devices they were using in 1991. Life is about living it and if you need that reminder, you should pop this bad boy into your VCR (jk it’s on Netflix right now) and let yourself believe in magic again. What’s your happy thought?
(I miss you, Robin! Every single day.)