Trent: Duncan, on a scale of one to ten what do you think you are?
Duncan: I don’t know, a six.
Trent: I think you’re a three.
~ The Way Way Back
Last night, my family went to see The Way, Way Back upon the recommendation of my brother. He said it was the best movie he’s seen this year. We kinda laughed because back in the day he told us we had to go see I Am Legend because it was “the best movie ever.” Now, it was a good movie but best movie ever . . . ? I guess it was to a seventeen-year-old male. But his taste in movies is usually close to my own and I’d seen the trailer so I figured it’d be a good flick. I was wrong. It was way, way good. It had an authenticity to it, yet remained funny and hopeful. That’s a rare combo these days. I’d highly recommend it.
In the opening scene Trent, Duncan’s mom’s boyfriend, asks Duncan what he thinks he is on a scale of one to ten. That’s a weird thing to ask. It’s an even weirder thing to ask a fourteen-year-old boy. When the poor guy is finally forced to give an answer, he settles on a six. Six is a safe answer. It’s not trashing yourself. It’s not cocky. And Trent just nails him with his reply, “I think you’re a three.” To quote Duncan later on, “Who says that to somebody?”
Seriously, who would say that to somebody? It’s awful. It’s mean. It’s demeaning. It’s outrageous.
But how often do we think something similar when we look in a mirror?