Saturday, February 4, 2012

Big Miracle - Will Make You Cry

Rated PG for language
107 minutes
Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Ted Danson, Kristin Bell

My 13 year-old daughter and I ventured into frigid temperatures today to see the newly-released Big Miracle, which is based on the inspiring true story of three whales trapped beneath a dangerous stretch of rapidly forming ice. After watching what these humans went through to save the struggling, gentle giants-of-the sea, I felt a little guilty complaining about our meager forty-degree weather.

Truthfully, despite the A-list cast, my expectations were low. Generally, these "based on true events" movies can be hit or miss, and from the trailers, I pretty much figured that this one would be just "eh."

Nope. This was a winner in my book. My daughter's too. She loved this movie.

First, there are the whales, Fred, Wilma and their baby, Bam Bam. From the minute you meet them, you fall in love. As for the human actors, John Krasinski, as the small-time news reporter Adam Carlson, is as lovable as always. And Drew Barrymore plays the Green Peace whale activist, Rachel Kramer, with just the right amount of chutzpah and vulnerability to make her believable as well as likable. Are they Academy Award winning performances? Of course not. Nor is this a Best Film-contender. But it's a very enjoyable movie, well worth the time and money - especially for family viewing.

That said, the target child audience for this movie, in my opinion would be mid-elementary school through high school. A four-year old boy in the theater said he thought the movie was "scary." Due to the environmental issues, the politics involved in the story line will probably also bore a younger audience, causing them to lose interest. For older kids, however, I personally think it's a great lesson in history. Also parents, not to throw you a plot spoiler, but if you have very sensitive children, one of the whales doesn't survive, and it's a very sad moment.

Despite the sorrow over this loss, Big Miracle is a premium, formula, feel-good movie that shows the good side of humanity, and tells us that miracles are possible if people work hard enough together to make them happen.

The rating is PG for language, but honestly, I think that amounted to maybe two instances of "hell" and a "bastard." I barely noticed them, and if I hadn't been making note of language for this review, I would have missed them altogether.

If you're looking for art, go see The Artist, but if you're looking for a good family movie, I highly recommend Big Miracle.

Reviewed by Karen Cantwell

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