Monday, May 30, 2011
About the movie:
In a quiet Florida town, life is idyllic for Jack and Molly Campbell and their young son, Joey. But one day a phone call shatters their peace. Joey's biological father, newly released from prison, wants his boy back. Who will love him enough to let Joey go? From the novel by Karen Kingsbury. Starring Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Kate Levering, Maxwell Perry Cotton, and Cole Hauser. Rated PG-13. Widescreen. Approx. 100 minutes.
I haven't read the book that this movie was based on, so I can only comment on the movie itself. I thought it was well done. The acting was believable and I loved the message. Parents (both adoptive and biological) would do just about anything for their child. Now, having done a ton of adoptions myself (I was like the social worker in the movie) I felt that the premise was a bit far fetched. Most states would not allow a situation like that to occur, so I can only assume that Ohio law was researched in this case to make such a situation legally plausible. In Arizona, where I live, that scenario wouldn't happen. There are too many laws to prevent such a messed up situation from happening. Now if Joey had been a foster child and not yet adopted, that would be a different situation.
Regardless, this movie tugs at the heartstrings and for me the message was good that birth mothers who place their children for adoption are "loving them enough to let them go" like the actress in the movie stated toward the end. Having worked with a lot of birth mothers in similar situations I can say that scene was very believable. It's hard, but rewarding to know that the birth mother did the right thing. She may have been with an abusive man, but she was still strong in her own way. She made choices, and her choice was to stay with him. I've seen that happen over and over as well. That said, I appreciated how the movie resolved at the end and how things were handled. And that poor social worker... I felt for her. She had a situation that was very hard to deal with, but she handled it well. I appreciated that, too. Sometimes it's a thankless job to be the one caught in the middle of custody situations. Been there, done that.
Overall, this movie was worth seeing, in my opinion. I really enjoyed it even if it did make me cry as expected. Again, I haven't read the book to compare the two. I don't know how close the novel was to the movie, so I can't comment on that. The spiritual message in the story was weak, but I'm not surprised. On the flip side, it's good to show that people who aren't Christians love their children enough to sacrifice for them, too. And this adoptive couple was willing to give up everything. That showed their heart for their child, even if their way of handling things was misguided. Desperate people aren't rational.