Edith: When we got adopted by a bald guy, I thought this’d be more like Annie.
Gru: [reading the book he wrote] One big unicorn, strong and free, thought he was happy as he could be. Then three little kittens came around and turned his whole life upside down. They made him laugh, they made him cry. He never should have said goodbye. And now he knows he can never part from those three little kittens that changed his heart.
For more info, check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323594/
So Gru is the bad guy that we find ourselves identifying with many times… I think that’s why we love him. Gru is the sort of guy who moves cars when the parking spot he wants isn’t available. He gets tired of waiting in line for coffee, so he freezes all those in between, grabs the coffee from the barista and goes on about his day. Admit it, some part of you says “Yeah, there’s days I wish I could do that!” Okay… but Gru does go farther. He’s a thief – and not petty crime… major landmarks (well, sort of!). So, in his bid for title of ultimate evil villain, he sets his sights on stealing THE MOON! And, what does a vilian who needs a little bank roll to get him started on a plot to steal the moon, he goes to the Bank of Evil. Make sure you pay attention to all the banking scandal references here, and the caryatids! And, it is here that Gru meets his new nemesis – Vector. But, he needs Vector, but you don’t just ask your nemesis for the tool he has that you need. Nope, a good vilian- and one who has to prove himself – has to find a way to steal it. That’s where three little orphan girls come in. Gru sees the girls selling cookies door to door and notices how easily they are granted access to people’s homes as they sell & deliver the cookies… what a great distraction! So Gru lies to the woman running the orphanage (who isn’t very nice to the girls either) and goes home with three sweet, energetic and slightly precocious little girls; Margo, Edith & Agnes. In essence the girls save Gru and he finds his true calling.
This is a very cute, funny and absolutely precious movie. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. I believe it’s on Netflix and it runs on TV intermittently. It seems to appeal to both men and women as well as boys and girls.
So, what does Despicable Me teach us? There’s a few things here…
1. Crime doesn’t pay. Despite what you’d be led to believe at the Bank of Evil, crime doesn’t pay for either of our villains. Don’t get me wrong, they have nice houses and have profited from their past endeavors, but neither villain profits from the current escapade. In fact, monetarily, both lose out.
2. New isn’t always better, just different. Vector is the new guy. He thinks he’s better and smarter than Gru, but there are times that Gru’s ways just work better. Let’s just say, experience. Gru’s methods are a little slower and maybe even a little more clumsy, but he gets results. Vector relies so much on technology that even though he thinks he’s ready for everything, he misses a few things.
3. Teamwork! Gru is a team player. He relies on Dr. Nefario, for inventions, his minions for base operations support as well as using their various talents on his missions, and he relies on the girls. Vector uses technology as his “team,” but since they’re all his inventions, they share his short-sightedness. Gru discusses and works out plans with his team. All the players are working toward a goal, and also watch out for each other.
4. The right decisions aren’t always easy. Gru is faced with a very tough decision. Be with the girls, whom he has grown to love, or continue with his master plan of stealing the Moon. Dr. Nefario helps with this decision by having the girls sent back without Gru’s permission… So Gru trudges on. However, he has second thoughts and tries to right his wrong.
5. You can overcome your childhood. Gru’s mom was not one to give love easily. In fact, she’s pretty mean. Not the sort of “slap you around” type mean, but probably the worse one, psychological. She’s always taking cheap shots at Gru, undermining his dreams and intelligence, and may even be the reason he decided to become a villan in the first place. I mean, if you are raised thinking you can’t do any good, why not jut plan on being bad? Now, PLEASE don’t take this to mean that a traumatic childhood can’t affect you. But sometimes, those struggles, as awful as they may be, can lead us to help others in a way we might not have thought of otherwise. Like I’ve said before, sometimes – just doing the opposite of the example we’re given can be a huge service to others!
6. Love triumphs. So, like I said, Gru tries to right his wrong and get the girls back. As much as he tried not to, those girls melted his iron maiden heart and he began doing things for them, not just making deals with them to get what he wants. And, on top of that, he finally gets kinds words from his mother.
7. It’s okay for our only talent, to be loving others. So, Gru isn’t the smoothest villan. He hasn’t had the best luck in being a vilian…but we see that once he opens his heart to love, that his is wonderful at it. Have you ever noticed that a loving individual lights up a room, gets other people to feel safe and all in all is just a joy to be around. Those dear angels give us a glimpse of God’s unfathomable love. I just hope we follow that example and bring that love to others!
So, you know in the beginning when I said we all have this part of us that identifies with Gru? Well, I hope that you find that to be true – but in his love!