Bridge to Terabithia (Gabor Csupo, 2007)
There are a lot of things the matter with "Bridge to Terabithia," Gabor Csupo's adaptation of the Newberry Award-winning children's book by Katherine Paterson, first and foremost being the trailer, which leads you to expect a "Narnia" or "Lord of the Rings" type adventure--nothing of that sort. "Bridge" is about the friendship that develops between two lonely youths, both eleven years old--Jesse, a boy trapped in a chaotic lower-middle-class household with four other women and a seemingly uncaring father; and Leslie, the only child of a pair of loving, well-to-do parents.
The fantasy, it's pretty much made clear here, is strictly in the children's minds--no complex psychological or metaphysical questions posed, no blurring of fiction and reality beyond what can easily be explained by a parent to a child. This is no "Pan's Labyrinth," where the fantasy takes on unsettling parallels with grim reality, even intruding upon it at several points; no "Heavenly Creatures," where the lure of fantasy for two girls is so strong their very sanity is thrown into question. This movie's fantasy is mostly by-the-numbers escapism, set against a reality where--though some of the circumstances may be unpleasant, even tragic--the people transcend said circumstances through persistent strength of character and basic human decency.