It’s not about the production value- nothing spectacular there.
It’s not about the stellar acting- although Tom Hanks does an incredible job as Mr. Rogers and the entire cast is actually excellent.
It’s not about the special effects- Can’t say there really are any.
It’s not about finding out the history of Fred Rogers- if you expect too much of his ‘story’, you will find yourself disappointed.
It’s not even about the nostalgia, although I believe the nostalgia has an important role to play in conveying the message of this movie to the audience.
So why then, do I recommend that all grown adults take time out of our insanely busy lives to go see a movie about a children’s entertainer from our own childhoods?
The answer is because the world really needs this movie right now.
We are all so busy- too busy.
We are all so caught up in our day-to-day that we lack presence in our own lives.
We are more connected than ever and more disconnected than ever.
We aren’t this way because we are bad people- or bad parents – or bad children to our own parents – or bad siblings or friends. Most of us are doing it because we are actually trying to get it all right. Couple that with the fact that we live in a world with technology that has us all on hyper-speed, so we don’t slow down long enough to realize how we are missing all the important parts ( or at least so many of them).
Now, here comes Mr. Rogers – straight out of our childhoods, to remind us of what is really important. He reminds us of our humanity. He reminds us of what it is to feel hurt and angry and everything in between. This movie reminds us that we all need healthy ways of coping with the stressors in our lives…even Mr. Rogers himself.
When I think of this movie, a song (not a ‘Mr. Rogers’ song) keeps coming to my mind: ‘What the world needs now is love, sweet love…’ , and while that may sound really ‘hokey’ to you…I believe it to be true. ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood‘ delivers that message, gently and non-judgementally, as only Mr. Rogers can do.
It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive,
It’s such a happy feeling, you’re growing inside
And when you wake up ready to say:
I think I’ll make a snappy new day.
It’s such a good feeling….
As an adult, I see this song with a different perspective: It’s about gratitude, personal growth and fresh starts…
Don’t go in with high expectations- go in for a reality check. Then go home and hug your loved ones. If they don’t live with you, call them. Take a moment and remind yourself that we’re all in this crazy place together for but a short while, so let’s make it a great stay
Wishing you all ‘a snappy new day’