A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this movie is targeted at families, it deals with some pretty weighty and timely issues, like economic hardship, homelessness, war, and the loss of a parent, so sensitive kids may need some reassurance about their own security after tuning in. The story follows a woman’s literal journey in another person’s life and shows how drastically our judgments of people can be changed by taking the time to understand their circumstances, so there are plenty of positive messages about compassion, charity, and community involvement. Families will find lots to discuss about this moving story, and it should inspire interest in lending a hand in your community. The movie is a joint effort from Walmart and Procter & Gamble, so plenty of their products (food items, shopping bags, etc.) are prominent.
What's the story?
A WALK IN MY SHOES centers on Trish Fahey (Nancy Travis), a busy mom, wife, and high-school teacher whose frustration with an underperforming student, Justin Kremer (Cameron Deane Stewart), spills over into an unpleasant encounter with his mom, Cindy (Jana Lee Hamblin), whom Trish accuses of being a bad parent. Soon after getting Justin -- a star basketball player -- suspended from the team because of an incomplete assignment, Trish encounters the mysterious Molly (Yara Martinez) and suddenly finds herself living Cindy’s life and better understanding the circumstances that have led to Justin’s troubles. With a little help from her new neighbor, Jake (Philip Winchester), who’s trying to build a new life of his own, Trish helps the Kremer family move forward, And when her own life is restored, she’s inspired to make positive changes.
Is it any good?
Chalk up another star to Walmart and Procter & Gamble, who've produced another “Family Movie Night” winner with A Walk in My Shoes. The movie is brimming with content that’s both inspiring and relevant, since it deals with economic hardship, the loss of a parent (and husband) in war, and a veteran’s difficulty readjusting to life after combat. Sure, the outcome is predictably good all around, and the mysterious and unresolved nature of Molly’s character borders on hokey at times, but the story doesn’t shy away from raw emotion, and families will be affected by its honest presentation of difficult circumstances and its encouragement of compassion for others.
The movie stays true to its “Family Movie Night” promise by steering clear of any iffy content. Parents’ only issue may be the fact that the movie’s corporate sponsors capitalize on the opportunity to parade their products before viewers’ eyes, so food items like Pringles, Orville Redenbacher popcorn, and Great Value snacks are positioned for maximum visibility in select scenes. In the end, though, that’s a small price to pay for truly worthwhile family entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about community service. What opportunities exist to get involved in improving your community? How do these programs help others? What are the emotional benefits of doing something for someone else? How does it strengthen your community as a whole?
Kids: What lessons did each of the characters learn? How did their experiences change them? Have you ever experienced an event that changed your life? What was it? Do you still think about it? How did it help shape the person you are now?
Does it matter to you that this movie is backed by major consumer corporations? Did you notice the product placement? What do these companies gain by producing movies like this? Do you think they're committed to the movie's message?
What are you thankful for? How do you show your appreciation? What do you value most in life? What's the difference between wants and needs?
For kids who love family movies
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.