In recent years, there have been a slew of Dove Foundation approved movies, films that are ‘family friendly’, and most times have a spiritual or religious element ‘based on Christian Values’. Usually this would turn me off instantly because I would perceive that the movies recommended by the Foundation would be ‘preachy’, which I am not a fan of. And some are. But there are also some that are very touching movies that are really just about basic human moral values, which I am all for. One of the latest films they recommend is on shelves now, Same Kind of Different as Me.
Greg Kinnear and Renée Zellweger star as Ron and Debbie Hall, a well-off couple whose marriage seems to be in trouble. Ron, an international art dealer, has been having an affair and Debbie is struggling with health issues that turn more severe. Ron and Debbie decide to give their relationship one more try and Ron agrees to help Debbie at a shelter serving meals to the homeless, something as far from normal for Ron as he could get. At the shelter they encounter a violent homeless man named Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou) whom they try to befriend and help after Debbie finds a connection with him. Little did they know the effect this man would eventually end up having on them personally and their entire lives.
Same Kind of Different as Me did everything right for me and never resorted to being preachy. Kinnear and Zellweger are both really great here as the struggling couple and the movie never pulls any punches when portraying their troubled marriage. But it is Hounsou that really packs a punch here giving what may be one of the best performances in his varied and impressive career. Hounsou never plays Denver as a stereotype of a homeless man, he just plays him as a deeply layered and complicated man. But his astounding effect on the lives of the Hall’s is an incredible story, and one that also happens to be true, making it all the more amazing to watch. And this is a good one to watch with your slightly older kids as well, it has great messages about love, infidelity, compassion, passion, empathy and so many more elements that are truly important for kids to learn about. And Same Kind of Different as Me teaches these lessons well and in an entertaining and engaging way. Highly recommended.