Matt Damon has become quite the family man in “We Bought a Zoo”. Benjamin Mee (Damon) is recently widowed and seems to be struggling in his new role as a single parent. It seems Benjamin use to be the man of adventure and his life has been forever changed. As he is having troubles adjusting so are his kids. His young daughter seems to be growing up before her time and doing what she can to help him out. Meanwhile his son is having troubles in school and winds up being expelled.
Looking for change that will be best for the family he makes an insane choice to move his family away from the city and onto a zoo reservation. The house sits on the reservation and after seeing his daughter’s reaction to the zoo he knows that this may be the best investment for his family’s future. Not knowing much about zoo upkeep and the animal’s well being he is taught a lot fairly quickly from the zookeepers. Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) is the head of the zookeepers and has some frank advice for the dad in his latest adventure.
Kelly is sure to let Benjamin know his journey could turn into a disaster and they all depend on his dedication for the zoo and its staff to survive. There are a lot of heartwarming moments in this film, but it crosses the line between realistic and ridiculous.
Benjamin’s choice to improve a situation at home does not make sense. I find it hard to understand how buying a zoo will better their lives. If anything that type of investment would hinder one’s ability to do that. “We Bought a Zoo” makes an attempt to be enjoyable, but has a few flaws that are hard to look past. The one delight you will get from this film is the adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones (Rosie Mee) who captures the audience with her adorable charm. For the holidays it does come packaged very well and kids will love the idea of living in the backyard of a zoo, but for some adults it misses the mark.