IN A NUTSHELL:
The heartbreaking story is based on a true story, one of many true stories about families who experience Dementia, mine included. This family features Paul, who did everything a person is supposed to do to keep their mind healthy, but now he has early-onset Dementia. As his disease progresses, his family comes together to decide what to do.
In the movie, we’re told that there are over 5 million Americans with Dementia. This film really hits close to home because my mother is currently living in a Memory Care facility with full-blown Alzheimer’s. One of the characters in the movie states something very true when he said, “You just get to know your dad in a different way.” It breaks my heart that my mother doesn’t really know who I am anymore. She has lost most of her physical abilities, but she’s just as sweet as ever.
The film was directed by Jay Giannone, along with writing help from Erich Hover and Eric Watson. Erich Hover also stars in the movie. The movie is dedicated to his father who passed away just last year. My sincere condolences to Erich and his family.
THINGS I LIKED:
I’ve always liked Brett Cullen. He does a good job and even looks a little bit like the real Paul Hover.
It’s been years since I’ve seen Lesley Ann Warren in anything in a long time. She looks amazing! I can’t believe she’s 76 years old already. I remember thinking she looked so glamorous in her version of Cinderella MANY years ago (1965 to be exact)!
The story takes place in Omaha, Nebraska. I actually spent a weekend there and had a great time! It’s a small city but there are still plenty of things to do and see and eat there.
We get to see live footage of the real Paul from the true story, as well as photos of his family.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
There are some oddly-written scenes such as when the mom drops a plate in the kitchen and so the daughter-in-law walks in to help. She says, “I’m here for you” and then immediately walks out without even picking up the broken dish on the floor. What?
So much yelling and fighting. Family members get angry with their dad, even knowing that he has been diagnosed with Dementia. In my personal experience, you have to show lots of patience and kindness and even laugh at the mistakes. I started a journal where I wrote down all of the funny and ridiculous things my mother said over the years.
There are a lot of bad acting moments.
The direction looks pretty amateur with weak camera angles, some shaky cam, and rough transitions.
The mom rejects financial help from her son and instead, says, “God will provide.” Ummm…maybe God is providing her with a generous, helpful son?! Later, she rejects the idea of placing her husband in a memory-care facility. It’s important that none of us judge the choices of others in these situations. My sisters and I provided in-home health nurses to my mother as long as we could but at some point, it just became too much for the shift nurses, which is why we moved her into a memory-care facility where she would get 24/7 care. All of the decisions are extremely painful and difficult. We’re so grateful that my twin sister is a Nurse Practitioner because she has helped us navigate the very complicated healthcare system.
Super melancholy, cheesy music throughout.
The fight scene in the bar was unnecessary and poorly filmed.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Kids will be bored.
No profanity. Yay!
We see men punching each other in a bar after one of them grabs a woman’s rear end.
A man gets lost in the woods, requiring help from a search party.
“Family First” – Jesse (Erich Hover)
Family responsibilities and duty
You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.