Parents' Guide to

A Fish Story

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Faith-based, supernatural drama has profanity, drinking.

Movie NR 2013 110 minutes
A Fish Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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A Fish Story is heartfelt but flawed. Performances are good, but they're the tent poles that prop up the illogically conceived, supernatural script by Sam Roberts, who also plays dead husband and father, Nick. Eddie McClintock of TV's Warehouse 13 as Eddie and Jayne Heitmeyer as Nick's wife produce touching moments that largely surpass the weakness of the fantasy on which the movie is based. The movie can't make up its mind as to its message. One character says, "Don't miss out on today for the sake of tomorrow," implying that all the work Nick put into building the family cabin stole moments he could have actually spent with the family. Yet, in contradiction, the cabin later turns out to be a comfort and meaningful legacy to the family after his death. So which is correct?

Another important-sounding but actually nonsensical message is, "A promise made is a debt unpaid" (which is a line from a favorite poem of the screenwriter's), but if the promise is fulfilled, how is the debt unpaid? Most puzzling of all is, "I was never a religious man, but I always had faith that I was something more than just a convenient believer." This is a statement that loops inside of itself until it has no discernible meaning at all. Finally, Nick decides that he agrees with that old aphorism, "Everything happens for a reason." Perhaps it means that he understands the reason he died in the car accident and left his wife and children bereft. Maybe he understands, but certainly not because the movie explains it.

Movie Details

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