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This is obviously not really being a movie with a real point to it but it instead rather wants to be feel-good movie. It however for most part fails as such because of its lacking story, that is lacking any good emotions and handles its characters poorly.

The characters actually confused me. First of all, it was a strange thing that at the beginning of this movie the Morgan Freeman character was supposed to come across as a grumpy old man, old Clint Eastwood character-style, so to speak but at the same time he also came across as an humorous and soft guy. It didn't quite resonated with each other and was somewhat confusing to watch. It was as if the film-makers themselves didn't really knew what to do with the character or were too afraid the viewers would distance themselves from the character and this movie if its main character was being purely a grumpy old man, in the first part of it.

But also the dynamics between all of the different characters doesn't quite work out well or convincing enough. Why oh why did they had to turn this into a love-story as well? It isn't being a convincing thing anyway that a single mother would fall for a cripple 70-something year old guy and it doesn't exactly gets made believable in this movie either. I would had most definitely preferred it if the movie focused on the friendship between the man and the family instead. The movie was perfectly good and sweet when it did just that and nothing more than just that.

The movie also most definitely has some pointless characters in it. What was the point of having Fred Willard in this? And why did there needed to be a mentally challenged character as well, that behaves like an absolute moron, instead of a mentally challenged person. I hate it when a movie does that. It's so offensive! Not just to mentally challenged persons but also the audience in general. Perhaps they though they would get some cheap laughs and drama out of it but I have some news for them; it just doesn't work out very well.

Also, the Morgan Freeman character was supposed to be a mentor to one of the young girls and I thought at one point that the movie would entirely become just about that. However, by the end of the movie it doesn't at all feels like he finished teaching the girl everything she needed and wanted to know about writing. The movie definitely feels incomplete when it comes down to some of its story lines. Who knows, maybe an additional 15 or 20 minutes could had improved this movie significantly.

It's always a dangerous thing to have young kids playing a significant role in a movie like this. The danger is that these movies tend to get overly sentimental and sappy and it's also risky since children often aren't being the best at acting. But I have to say, as far as all these things for this movie are concerned, it isn't being anything too bad. The kid actors were good, though the writing for them was still definitely lacking.

It's hard to care about anything that happens in this movie, since the characters just aren't being handled good and interesting enough and they aren't going through some interesting enough developments and transitions. In that regard this movie truly fails and falls completely flat as a genre movie, though it's not a movie that I hated watching, so I'm still being somewhat mild with my rating for it.

Perhaps it was also thanks to the fine actors that appear in this movie. It's never a punishment to watch Morgan Freeman acting in a movie, even when the movie and his character aren't being all that great or interesting.Virginia Madsen also did a great job, as did all of kid actors, like I mentioned earlier on already.

Just not the best of most effective genre movie out there. Try again Mr. Reiner!

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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