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We Bought a Zoo is only so-so
Showtime with Sasha
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If you’re a fan of Scarlett Johannson, the Black Widow from “The Avengers,” check out her not-so-heroic work in “We Bought a Zoo,” a drama now available on DVD.

The movie stars Matt Damon as real-life writer Benjamin Mee, whose greatest life adventure is trying to raise his two kids after his wife’s death.

In an attempt to start new, Benjamin decides to move his family. The house he falls in love with, however, comes with a zoo in the backyard.

Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, the zoo staff, which includes Johansson as a feisty head zookeeper, is as depressed by the zoo’s financial situation as a bear named Buster, who has to take meds for his condition. There’s also a major inspection coming up. Can the band of misfits hope to pass?

“We Bought a Zoo” is a funny drama that’s 100 percent family friendly. On the bright side, Johansson works in this role, Damon is a lovable dork, the kids are cute and Thomas Hayden Church delivers some terrific jokes.

“We Bought a Zoo” is a Cameron Crowe film, but it is in no way better than his previous works, such as “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.” Yes, film nuts like me will notice “Almost Famous” star  Patrick Fugit plays one of the colorful zookeepers. He’s the one with the monkey on his shoulder.

Speaking of those zookeepers, I did feel that as comical as they all were, they lacked a little dimension and development. Maybe not when it came to the hot-tempered Scottish enclosure designer (Angus MacFadyen of “Braveheart”), but Elle Fanning’s character, for instance, just seems a little goofy and without much explanation.

I’m a fan of good, family movie-night films, but “We Bought a Zoo” was just kind of so-so for me.

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