Feb 18, 2008

Movie Monday 2/18/08

The Ultimate Gift

Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens (played by Drew Fuller) on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: "What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?" Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens (played by James Garner). He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole "reading of the will" thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his Grandfather's money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls "gifts," each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever.

At one point everything is taken from him and he lives as a homeless man. At another time he visits a developing country where even old library books are a treasure. Along the way, the movie spins a side story that was not in the novel, adding a romantic interest, Alexia (Ali Hillis), and her daughter Emily, an outspoken mysterious girl (Abigail Breslin) who, unbeknowst to Jason, is dying from cancer. As Jason works through these twelve gifts in twelve months, he comes to see Red Stevens as more than a dead billionaire. At the end of the film when he chooses to use his entire inheritance to build a hospital for cancer patients and their families, it turns out he has more than exceeded expectations, and his departed grandfather has one final gift: making him a billionaire.

The 12 Gifts:
* The Gift of Work
* The Gift of Problems
* The Gift of Friends
* The Gift of Giving
* The Gift of Gratitude
* The Gift of Family
* The Gift of Learning
* The Gift of Money
* The Gift of Laughter
* The Gift of a Day
* The Gift of Dreams
* The Gift of Love


Catch & Release

Romantic comedy. Grey (Jennifer Garner) was a beautiful woman who found the man of her dreams in Grady Douglas, and was looking forward to spending the rest of her life with him until he suddenly died only a few days before they were to be married. With her wedding turned into an impromptu funeral, Grey is emotionally devastated but has to deal with the practicalities of her new life alone, including moving out of the house she shared with Grady. Short on cash and in need of emotional support, Grey moves in with two longtime friends, sloppy but philosophical Sam (Kevin Smith) and well-meaning but tightly wound Dennis (Sam Jaeger). Grey also finds herself often chatting with Fritz who lives in LA but stays in the house with everyone (Timothy Olyphant – cute!). He’s another of Grady's best friends, though she's always regarded him as a sleaze ball. As time passes, Grey discovers that Grady had a secret life he never shared with her -- including a young son from a previous relationship -- and as she tries to come to terms with the past of her former fiancĂ©, she struggles to put her new life on track, and finds herself reevaluating her long-held feelings about Fritz, even though he’s a womanizer, and doesn’t strike you as the type to settle down. Through DNA testing, it’s determined the little boy isn’t Grady’s but because he wanted the boy to be taken care of, Grey demands Grady’s mother use the estate money to do that very thing. Dennis is crushed when he professes his love for Grey and she doesn’t feel the same. In another scene he questions her judgment in getting involved with Fritz. Fritz overhears Grey’s comments (trying to spare Dennis’ feelings) that “It means nothing.” and he promptly moves back to LA. At the end of the movie, Grey goes to LA to see Fritz. It’s one of those awkward moments where she questions if she did the right thing, and he shuts her up by kissing her and asking “What took you so long?” Awww.



Patty Smith (ILCS) said...

Loved Catch and release as well...
Congratulations on your weight loss that is awesome... WOW 4 sizes down that is so great.

Jennifer said...

I liked Catch and Release as well. It was a cute movie (plus I do like Kevin Smith!)

Chiloe said...

I want to se that movie !!! I want to see it !!!!!! but it's not here !!! :-((