Sunday, January 2, 2011

Change of Plans

I want to get a BIG shout out for the next Family Movie Night movie Change of Plans which premiers on FOX on Saturday, January 8th, at 8 EST/7 CST. Watch this movie!!!!!!

I watched Change of Plans with my seven year old daughter and my thirteen year old son and it was absolutely wonderful. It was appropriate for all ages in your family and has a fabulous message you definitely want everyone to hear. The movie covers multiple "big ideas" in a caring, compassionate, and family-friendly way. The characters are real, and charming, and suitable for everyone. I cannot think of one thing in the movie that I did not like. This is one you will not want to miss. So, please, take the time to add this heartwarming movie to your calendar, order out for pizza, and have the popcorn handy, then settle down on the couch or floor for two hours of enjoyment that will in turn tug at your heart, have you talking back to the screen (and talking to each other), and leave you smiling.

Here is my synopsis of the movie: Basically, a self-focused, self-centered, career driven (yet still nice) couple is surprised with the news that the wife has been named as guardian of her college best-friend's children after a fatal plane crash while on a Peace Corps Mission. The couple is hesitant to accept such a "change of plans" in their busy lives (he's an aeronautical engineer and pilot and she is an aspiring singer), but agrees to take on the kids "temporarily" until a permanent home can be found. The four children, ranging in age from fifteen to about eight, include three adopted orphans from three different countries, who find it challenging to adapt to American life after living in Uganda for so many years. The new "family" is faced with numerous challenges along the way (the biggest hurdle of which is the American social work system), and has to find a way to make all of their differences add up to something special before it is too late.

I was very pleased by most things in this movie, but most of all by the respect and kindness shown by all of the characters, especially the children. Even the wife's worldly agent tones down his language because he is speaking around children. I don't recall a single bad word that was spoken, and the music (of the wife's band), had a nice message and was not overly loud (she was a singer on American Idol, so her voice is good). There was a brief spate of bullying in the storyline, but actual fighting was not shown, and the consequences were real. There were a few tiny kisses between the married couple and they were shown well-covered in bed talking, but while there were romantic interests for the two high school aged kids, this was minor, it seemed innocent, and I do not recall any physical contact. The acting and the film quality for television were top-notch.

The older daughter repeatedly reinforces good manners, and the fledgeling parents do their best to step in and be wise guardians. When the children make mistakes, they are genuinely remorseful, and want to make things better...awesome! The older daughter mentions once that the ladies of her family have a tradition of cooking together, so she'd be pleased to help prepare meals (the wife does not cook). She also asks if she can say a prayer before a meal. She recalls what a caring father she had, who played a strategy board game with her nightly, and taught her important things every day (like how to ride a donkey backwards by sticking a thorn in its tail...Tex thought this was hilarious...) The youngest daughter likes to play, "Tell Me Something" at night, which is basically a chance for the caregiver to tell a story or share a memory. The wife told her touching stories about her mother and showed a profound depth of caring that was quite admirable. Personally, I liked this sweet idea and I think I will call our random memory-sharing experiences "Tell Me Something" from now on.

The movie deals with the differences between our country and other countries (we have soooo much), the difficulty of dealing with a loved one's death, culture shock and adjusting to a new place, integrating families, adoption and foster care, the importance of serving others, making a family dynamic work, respect, giving up dreams for a greater good, and how to choose what is the best thing...During the course of the movie, the young couple goes from self-centered to family-centered, and learns to love the day to day things that having a family brings...eventually finding them to be much more valuable than fleeting fame, fortune, or excitement. The husband says, "[The children] set us on a better path beyond our narrow vision." This sums up all of what the movie is about.

I think you will really like this one. We did. Please, remember that supporting what Walmart and P&G are trying to do with this Family Movie Night initiative is VERY important, so make sure you work watching Change of Plans into your schedule, or set your dv-r, or whatever you do, watch the movie, and then let them know that you really appreciate these family-friendly and appropriate-for-all-ages movies. It is so nice to see something wholesome on regular television (and so rare). Believe me, watching this movie will be a painless way of supporting a good thing. People out there NEED to hear this message, so let's work together to make sure more movies like this continue to grace the airways.

Here is a preview of the movie for you:

:30 Change of
from on

Check out the network page (with a trailer and a synopsis) for this movie HERE.
Support Family Movie Night by "liking" their page on Facebook HERE.

One last thing I think shows the heart of the movie: In a press release, Brooke White (she plays Sally, the wife) says, "I love this story, because it is emotionally-driven, yet light-hearted and fun. It also shows us that the family comes in all shapes and sizes, and reminds us that sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we planned, but it can be even better. It's a great lesson that I learned firsthand!"
I hope you enjoy this movie as much as we did.



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