Remember that family vacation you took years ago? When you were just on the brink of teenage-dom and your parents were still treating you like a child, but all you wanted was your space? This movie was like that, but, you know, in prehistoric times and with the impending threat of doom of the world ending while on that vacation.
The story goes as most of them do. A tight-knit family headed by overprotective father Grug (played by the wonderful Nicolas Cage) live together in a cave until disaster strikes and they are forced to leave their humble abode and seek refuge with the help of Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Rebellious teen Eep (played by Emma Stone) starts to fall hopelessly in lust with Guy, which naturally causes her father to freak out and try to keep them apart because, well, we all know boys only want one thing.
Grug lives by one manta: never don’t be afraid (talk about a neanderthal mentality). With a father like that, you can imagine why the family may be looking to a seemingly knowledgeable young man for advice on where to go and what to do to avoid being brutally mutilated by lava, sabre tooth-looking cats, piranha birds and so on. And as the Croods family moves further and further away from their beloved cave, Grug realizes that his kids won’t be kids forever and the more he resists change, the more he pushes his family away.
Another cutesy movie from the DreamWorks animation team, I’d place The Croods somewhere in between Madagascar and Shrek on the hilarity meter. It had some good one-liners, and Cage was surprisingly really funny in it (while I love him as an actor, I don’t find him inherently comedic), but Emma Stone and and an aptly lankily animated Ryan Reynolds totally carried this movie.
I won’t spoil the end, but since this is a kiddie movie after all, you can imagine there’s some sort of happy reconciliation. And just like the animals before them, and the humans that came after them, this family learned how to evolve and adapt in more ways than one.
Ashley Kowalewski is an editorial assistant and freelance writer based in Toronto. She has enough nail polish to last a lifetime, reads too much for her own good, and is hopelessly in love with Matt Damon (and his bad movies, too). Follow her @AshKowalewski.