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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Bee Movie

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July 24, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Bee Movie

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Bee Movie

Available on DVD

Bee Movie is smart and thoroughly enjoyable family comedy that showcases the importance of one of nature’s tiniest (and often illogically feared) creatures. It's the coming-of-age story of a bee named Barry (Jerry Seinfeld). Barry is a thinker not a stinger. The film opens with Barry’s graduation, and as just like most college grads of the human variety, he is unsure to the point of being terrified at the prospect of choosing a career. His parents want him to take his place in the family business (making honey, natch), but Barry doesn’t want a small, insignificant life; he's filled with an overwhelming desire to explore the world outside his hive.

One morning, Barry follows the “pollen jocks” out into Central Park. After a series of mishaps, Barry meets Vanessa, (Renee Zellweger), a New York florist. Barry breaks the bees' number-one rule: “Never talk to humans,” and through this unlikely friendship, he's introduced to such amenities as cake. However, to his horror, he finds that humans have long been gainfully stealing copious amounts of honey from his species.

With Vanessa’s help, Barry and his best bee friend, Adam (Matthew Broderick), file a class-action lawsuit against the humans' pilfering -- and wins. At first, his victory seems sweeter than the honey his hive is now overflowing with, but after visiting Vanessa, he discovers that since the bees’ hiatus from producing honey, the world has been in peril. Without bees pollinating, flowers die, fruits and vegetables can’t grow, and the animals that eat plants (including humans) go hungry.

By film's end, Barry finally understands the importance of making honey, and that “a small job, if you do it really well, makes a big difference.” Bee Movie brims with the Seinfeld humor we know and love. Plus, the Dreamworks-driven animation and storytelling is stellar -- and buzz-worthy.

--Julia Gelbaum

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