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A Movie Review… What God Has Planned For Us

October 14, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By REY FLORES

God has very interesting ways of bringing people together. The reasons are sometimes a complete mystery, until He reveals His plan to us in His own time. It is then that we realize that many of the hardships and pains that we go through are part of His bringing us closer to Him.
Same Kind of Different as Me is one of those stories that we can all relate to in the sense that at some point in our lives, hopefully, we can come to understand what truly is important.
In this latest release by Pure Flix, we are told the true story of successful international art dealer Ron Hall, played by actor Greg Kinnear. Hall is a man of wealth who is well-entrenched in the world of high, and expensive, art.
His home life appears to be ideal. His wife, Debbie, played by an almost unrecognizable Renée Zellweger, is a loving wife and mother who is also dedicated to her volunteer work with the homeless. The couple seem worlds apart in how they see the world, and how they live in it.
Ron’s family relationships, however, tend to be somewhat secondary to his career. It is apparent in one scene at an art gallery opening, where even his daughter seems somehow upset by her father’s schmoozing with the hoi polloi, and not focusing more on his family.
It is when Debbie discovers that her husband has been unfaithful that things begin to change for the pair, and the entire family. Despite the betrayal and deception, Debbie finds that forgiveness is the best path, but aims to teach her husband a valuable lesson which will carry him through later tragedy.
In one of the more humorous scenes, we see Debbie and Ron riding in their fancy Mercedes Benz when she turns into a rough part of Dallas while he nervously questions why she did so. Debbie escorts him into the soup kitchen where she volunteers, much to the horror of her husband. Ron is then handed an apron — which he reluctantly accepts after a little coaxing from his wife.
The next character is a homeless man who makes a very animated entrance into the dining area. He wields a bat and tears the place up before making a shocking impact on Ron, who has never dealt with homeless people before, let alone an emotionally unstable and violent one.
Denver Moore is the homeless man who plays a huge part in this couple’s life from here forward. He is exceptionally well played by actor Djimon Hounsou, who has previously starred in Amistad and Blood Diamond.
Both the husband and the wife make efforts to grow together after his affair. He understands that he has to regain her love and trust, and is therefore willing to do whatever his wife asks. He even makes friends with Denver, who at one point smashes his car’s window before the friendship develops.
Same Kind of Different as Me is a different kind of story which explores marriage and family relationships, as well as our relationship with those outside our immediate circle — also important and valuable in the whole scheme of God’s creation.
Denver is a man who somehow lost his way, but thanks to Debbie, and eventually Ron, he is accepted as a human person deserving of time, respect, and dignity, despite his initial outrageous behavior and his homelessness.
We are shown some of Denver’s painful childhood memories when he grew up in the South when racism was a very real and ugly thing for black Americans. Much of these hardships explain why he is troubled and homeless.
While the story deals mainly with Ron, Debbie, and Denver, Ron’s father Earl Hall, who is played excellently by actor Jon Voight, is an ornery old alcoholic whose addiction has driven a wedge between father and son. This gives this tale another complex layer of family relationships gone awry, and shows how important it is to reconcile, forgive, and make amends.
At one point when the family is gathered for Christmas dinner, an inebriated Earl is bothered by Denver and makes it obvious. After Earl makes a very insensitive remark to Debbie, Ron pretty much throws his father out of their home and hands him back the “gift” he brought — a fifth of Jack Daniel’s bourbon.
Without giving the story away, I assure you that this movie will tug at your heartstrings. It is a true tale of how we never know how our lives will turn out, but when we invest a little love and care to those around us, it is then that we truly understand what God had planned for us all along.
In seeing this movie, I was also reminded of the work I did as an outreach organizer about 15 years ago with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I met a lot of very good and interesting people, who because of their own poor choices or circumstances beyond their control, ended up homeless.
I highly recommend this film for the entire family. Pure Flix delivers once more in helping bring wholesome quality films to a nation which can use more compassion and love, and less sex and violence on the silver screen.
Movie Fact: The four main actors mentioned above are all Academy Award winners. They all did an excellent job in bringing this inspiring and true story to the big screen.
Same Kind of Different as Me opens nationwide on Friday, October 20.
Visit www.SameKindOfDifferentAsMeMovie.com to watch the trailer.

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(Columnist Rey Flores also writes book and movie reviews for The Wanderer. Contact Rey at reyfloresusa@gmail.com.)

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