Director: John Lee Handcock
Staring: Sandra Bullock
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated: PG-13 (For one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references)
Historically people love underdog films. If I have any concerns about the movie is that it’s too sweet with little conflict or interest in where the heart of the story really is. I’m sure the real life Leigh Ann was a wonderful person, but she’s so good it’s almost painful sometimes. When one of her friends tells her that she’s changing Mike’s life she says “no...no, he’s changing mine.” Based on what? From what I can tell this woman is a saint from the get go, and outside of swallowing her pride and hiring a Democrat for Mike’s tutor there’s no room for her to be a better person.
Mike himself doesn’t fare much better. With little to no personality and a murky back story, he strikes me as more of a pet for the family then an actual character. And yet...this is almost a good movie. Almost. In fact, it’s so close to being a good movie it’s almost painful. It’s got likable characters, an interesting premise, and great performances. What it lacks is conflict, the real story at heart, and a reason to get emotionally involved. Many people love this movie now and many more likely will in the future. It just doesn’t go the extra for me to recommend, though I’ll acknowledge up-front I’m likely in the minority there.
Parents, even with one scene that involves violence, language, and sexual references I still think this is mostly a family-friendly film. Recommended for ages 10 and up.