All of us take our kids for granted; it’s part of the gig. Sometimes we even visualize jumping in the car solo and taking off for parts unknown with only the dust from an open bag of Cheetos (I TOLD them to close that!!! Grrr…) leaving a clue to our whereabouts. But if you want to bust out of that groove and get inspired to appreciate those little runny-nosed snackers, see the movie Miracles From Heaven.
I had a chance to see this touching film, based on the true life story of a family dealing with a child’s illness and the miracle that healed her, and cannot overemphasize the importance of bringing tissue and wearing waterproof mascara.
The film stars Jennifer Garner, who’s fantastic performance takes us on the ride through the eyes of a mother doing whatever she can to help her daughter. She fights, begs, and worries, all while dealing with a spiritual crisis of her own, and that makes the film so relatable to moms like us, who would happily drop into Mama Bear mode on anyone who messes with our cubs no matter what the cost. Queen Latifah brought in a little much needed comedy, and the supporting actors were strong, which made for an excellent ensemble cast.
The fact that it’s based on a true story of the Beam family’s daughter Anna makes it hit home even harder, because the story is almost to fantastic to be true. Knowing that another mother had to go through all of that pain and struggle made my heart bleed for the whole family, and their joy became mine at the miraculous ending.
After viewing the film we had a chance to chat with the film’s producer and he made it clear that they felt an obligation to get the story right by the Beam family. It was so refreshing to hear DeVon Franklin speak openly about his interest in the true story – and commitment to his faith – with honest enthusiasm, a rarity in Hollywood to be sure. He also stressed the importance of sticking to your values and being true to yourself, even when the odds are stacked against you (he was speaking about the entertainment industry, but it paralleled the film’s spiritual aspect as well.)
After chatting with DeVon personally, I realized that it was his warmth that we sensed in this film, as well as the vision of director Patricia Riggen. That’s what made it so personal, the warmth and care that went into this production. And it was a giant plus for me that the film had diversity both on the screen and off including a Latina female director and African American male producer, plus it even passed the Bechdel test (more than one woman in the film, two women talking to each other in a scene, not about a man.) That’s a “Miracle” in itself!
So why should you see it? Because it’s a great film, and a highly inspiring experience. One that will cause you to look for the daily miracles in the repetitive drudgery of your own life, and cherish those little people in your house (the same ones leaving orange Cheetos fingerprints in your car and causing you extreme joy and pain on a daily basis.) It will also make you feel like a part of the mommy sisterhood, one that is made of incredible women dealing with incredible things.
That idea was summed up perfectly when DeVon Franklin said, when talking about the need for inspiring family films, “Superhero movies have their place, but the real heroes are moms and parents.”
This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Sony Pictures blogging program.
The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. #MiraclesFromHeaven
LAURA NIX GERSON is the CEO of Nix|Gerson Media and the Founder of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura has contributed to Modern Mom, CBS Local and Babble. Her greatest joy is story telling, sharing local finds and connecting people. Follow her @MomAngeles.