Friday, September 10, 2010

The Ultimate Gift -- 2006

The Ultimate Gift

Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence and language

My Rating: 5 Stars

Drew Fuller
Bill Cobbs
Abigail Breslin
Ali Hillis
Lee Meriwether
Brian Dennehy
James Garner

I didn't think I would ever find another young actor like Dakota Fanning but after watching this film, I would say Abigail Breslin is right up there with her. :-)

When Red Stevens (James Garner) passed away, his family expected to receive the mother-load. Instead, they were all dismayed when they received little more than they had been given during his life. And no one knows who gets the bulk of Red's estate. Not even Jason. But Jason isn't even sure he's living anymore.

Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller) has had everything money can buy since he was a baby. He had never worked a day in his life. He didn't understand the value of anything. But in spite of how spoiled he was, his grandfather saw a fire in him. He saw a man that could be untainted with money and greed and he devised a plan that he thought would change his grandson if nothing else would.

He surprised grandson with a series of gifts... the first being the gift of work. After one month, Jason had missed breakfasts, been blistered, cattle prodded and his girlfriend hadn't understood, for what he thought was a gift of money. It wasn't. He left Texas, vowing never to degrade himself in such a way ever again. To blank with his Grandfather's will and his stupid gifts.

The second gift was the gift of friendship. “You must come back to this office in one month with one true friend.” Easy? Well, when you've been rich all your life and suddenly, you have no money, no home and your mother isn't allowed to help you, you find out how many friends you really have.

That's when Emily walked into Jason's life. This little girl was just the match for trust-fund-baby Jason Stevens. When she found out she would get nothing out of a friendship with him (even though she and her mom needed money badly) she decided it would be worth a shot. For more reasons than one (“designing” would be one of the words to describe Emily). Little did Jason Stevens realize how much one little girl could teach a man... and how much a man can change in a few months.

As the months progressed on and he was given harder tasks, Jason began to understand his Grandfather and... God. And the gift in the end wasn't quite what he had been expecting.

What I Liked:
1: For an inspirational film, I would say this is the best I've watched.
2: The acting. Phenomenal! Bravo!
3: Emily... I really liked her character. She actually made me cry but three seconds later, she had me laughing hysterically.
4: The humor. With many Christian films, the humor seems second hand or it falls flat. Not with this film. It was very unexpected and effective.
5: Bill Cobbs was great. I've seen him on one other film and he was just as good. :-)
6: The romance. Of course.
7: The lessons. They can be applied so easily to my life.
8: When Jason realizes that he doesn't to be like the rest of his family. There was no reason he couldn't change the course of his life.

Things to Know:
1: There is some immodesty... his girlfriend and his mom. It does add to the story because the people they were do dress that way. It's nothing horrible but if you have a problem with it, have a towel handy.

I highly recommend this film. I am now looking for the book (Jim Stovall).


Melinda said...

Definitely read the book! While the movie was good, I was a bit disappointed with it because it strays from the book. The book is a very sweet read.

sophia said...

I red that book once, It was wonderful......

Naomi said...

Thanks for the recommendations... most of the time, the books are better, eh?

I did not realize that the author of the story is blind until after I watched the movie. Somehow, it made the story seem even more powerful. :)