Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thank someone in Hollywood

My jaded self is fairly convinced it all boils down to the almighty dollar, but the more optimistic side of me would like to think that Hollywood's latest entry into the family film arena occurs because there truly is a sector of Tinseltown that believes we need more wholesome family entertainment. Based on the book by Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift fills the bill incredibly well. With well-known names like James Garner, Lee Meriweather (okay, maybe only well-known to those of us in the 40-and-up age range.... Barnaby Jones anyone??), and Brian Dennehy, plus cute-as-a-button Abigail Breslin and eye candy Drew Fuller, the film is packed with acting talent. But we all know it takes more than talent to make a good movie. You also need a compelling story with believable characters. It's all there.

Here's the synopsis from the movie's website:

When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life with twelve tasks – or “gifts” – designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness.

Not having seen Little Miss Sunshine yet, this was my introduction to Abigail Breslin. I now know why she was nominated for an Academy Award. Drew Fuller, another new actor to me, brought great believability to his role as the spoiled rich kid. Watching his character change and grow throughout the film was really rather inspiring. As one person commented at the IMDB site, "It's more than a "must see" movie, it's an "I want to do better" movie. " Visit the movie's website for a host of information and activities based on the film. There are discussion guides to download, youth and family activities, movie clips to share, and more.

We can thank the folks at Fox Faith Movies for this one.


Rick J said...

I read the plot summary earlier today and thought it sounded like a good flick to see. Thanks for the rec!!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the review! I too read about it yesterday and want to go see it. Hopefully it will stay in the theaters a while and gain a lot of attention. We definitely need more films like that.

blackpurl said...

thanks for the review... this sounds like one I should check out!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like one Tom and I would like on DVD when it transitions. We just saw "Little Miss Sunshine" about three weeks ago and it was really funny. Certainly NOT a typical family or family story by any means, but was funny and heartwarming in an irreverent kind of way. We liked it and laughed out loud at all of them.

Thanks for the review, Karen!

Cheers & Blessings! Dee

Robin said...


I promised a visit LAST week (after you found me via the UBP :) ), and FINALLY I made it over!! This movie sounds good, and with three kids who enjoy movies, "good" ones are not that easy to find :/. And we still let them watch to "okay" ones, so it's nice when a good one comes along (lol)(huh?). Who can't help but LOVE James Garner? (I'm a 40-something, too ;) ).

RLP (aka real live preacher) wrote an excoriating piece on Fox Faith a week or two ago...if you wanna be entertained, you ought to look him up. I'm kinda with him, I'm jaded towards Hollywood no matter how many "good" movies they manage to produce. In the end, it's ALL about the almighty dollar. :/

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