Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You’ve Got a Friend: A Heart-Warming Hallmark Channel Film on DVD

If you’re looking for a heart-warming family film, then I’ve got a great suggestion for you: You’ve Got a Friend! Starring John Schneider, this movie originally aired on the Hallmark Channel and comes out on DVD this month. This is the story of Bobby, a 12-year-old boy who is sent to live with his childless uncle and aunt after his parents die in a car accident. Things are rocky at first since Bobby’s uncle hadn’t spoken to his brother, Bobby’s father, in years, so he resents the intrusion of his nephew in his life. When his uncle refuses to help him build the Soapbox Derby car that Bobby had planned with his father, Bobby turns to the town recluse, Jim Klecan (Schneider), a Vietnam vet and former Soapbox Derby champion.

Jim has his own issues and, like Bobby’s uncle, doesn’t welcome Bobby into his life at first. But his excitement over Soapbox Derby racing, and his sympathy for Bobby’s plight, eventually reach Jim’s heart, and he agrees to help Bobby build his car. Unfortunately, his uncle had forbidden Bobby from Soapbox Derby racing, so he must lie about his ongoing project with Jim. But when the truth comes out, a caring teacher at Bobby’s school, Miss Nelson, helps smooth the waters between Bobby and his uncle.

You’ve Got a Friend is really more about fatherhood, though. Bobby misses his own father terribly, and when his uncle fails at first to be the surrogate father that he needs, Jim steps in as a father figure for Bobby. We also observe the relationship between Tommy, a school bully, and his father, who bullies Tommy into being a Soapbox Derby champion, no matter the cost. Both of these examples show the harm that can be done when parents fail to encourage children in their own dreams and try to mold them into mini versions of themselves. This important lesson fortunately comes wrapped in a very enjoyable film that the whole family will enjoy. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of You’ve Got a Friend for Family Movie Night!


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