Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family Friendly Movie Review - Johnny

It has been a crazy busy time and I am so glad to have finally had the opportunity to enjoy a nice family friendly film.  I try to purchase family friendly films when I have the opportunity and try also to focus on those with faith-based messages, but being family friendly is good on any level.  The movie following I watched via Netflix Instant Streaming.

Pure Flix Entertainment
Starring - Mel Fair, Lee Majors, Jerry Phillips, Aubryn Cole, Musetta Vander

About the film: Johnny is an inspirational family story about loss and how one young boy's mission, before he is called to heaven, makes a difference for a family struggling to find their way back after a tragedy devastates them. When Dr. Drew Carter (Mel Fair) tragically lost his ten year old son in a car accident while his wife Julia (Musetta Vander) was driving, he didn't expect to lose his whole family as well. Since the accident, Julia is emotionally absent from Drew and their daughter Kayla (Aubyn Cole). When Dr. Miller (Lee Majors) refers Johnny (Jerry Phillips), a foster child with leukemia, to Drew the wheels start to turn as he sees a chance to heal his family.

Johnny doesn't know what he is in for, but is convinced he's there for a special mission; a mission revealed when he enters Dr. Carter's world. This film shines brightly with hope and will move your heart and soul with its message of redemption, salvation and forgiveness.

"Dove Family Approved" from The Dove Foundation. Awarded 5 out of 5 Doves and recommended for ages 12+.

My review - Johnny is a story about damage and about purpose.  Even the lives that are here for just a short time have a purpose set by God. Johnny has an aggressive form of leukemia.  If there was ever a prognosis that wasn't good, it is Johnny's.  Although Johnny is fully aware of his situation, He has an outlook on life that is amazing.  He memorizes words of scripture, holds onto and shares God's promises, and knows that no matter what God has a purpose for his life.  He is completely open to God's will.  He has complete faith in God which he shares openly and bravely.

Dr. Carter and his family take him in.  His daughter who has been suffering from a mom who is mentally and emotionally absent from her and her father's life is excited about having Johnny in her home.  He is funny and kind.  She opens up her home and heart to him and God right away.  Dr. Carter has opened his heart and listens to Johnny.  He enjoys the child's company a great deal and gains a new insight.  Sadly his wife Julia is not ready for Johnny to live with them.  She deals with the decision her husband has made, but her heart is so torn up.  There is no room in her life for this boy when her heart is still torn to shreds over the loss of her son.  She has no interest in attaching to another child especially when that child is knocking at death's door.

Things that stood out to me:

Setting - I cannot mention this film without saying how much I enjoyed the setting.  I do not know where it was filmed, but I was ready to move there.  Combine green grass and an ocean with some pretty blue skies...take me away.

Characters -
I loved that the characters were flawed but real.  Certainly you aren't going to run into Johnny every day, but there are people just like him everywhere.  People who are facing deep trials but shining God's love to others.  Now some, like Johnny, may have an illness that is obvious to the eye, but others have circumstances that you may never know of, but they love with all they have rather than let the pain get them down.  They know that  God has a purpose for their lives.  

I liked that there was realism in the family dynamic.  Mom was really struggling.  Her husband brings this sweet kid home, and she is just wigged out.  She is in real pain over her loss.  Pain that she is told she needs to move on from.  That is not an easy thing to do.  It was realistic that not everyone is just ready to paint rainbows and find happy ever after, because life is not always happy ever after and many of us also have a pain that we are still clinging to.  This doesn't mean we should be clinging to our pain, but it does happen.

Actors -
Great job with all.  Loved the child actors.  They were incredible.   Loved seeing Lee Majors in a Christian film too.

Final thought -

Johnny is a sweet story about forgiveness of self and others.  It is sometimes breezy and easy but it also has very serious moments.  Will it tug at your heart?  Yes.  Will it inspire you?  Absolutely.  I did say it is family friendly, but I would definitely have a family viewing starting at about age 8 or 9 with the kiddos.  

I have a smile rating and I would give this one 4.5 smiles out of 5.  :)

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU for this review and recommendation...we are constantly searching for movies appropriate for kids that will also make them think a bit....will watch this this weekend!