A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this feel-good movie geared toward families tackles the relevant issue of bullying in a sanitized but thorough manner. A teen's struggle to choose between standing up for what's right and succumbing to peer pressure has great lessons for all age groups, and the fact that the story keeps its content light and nonviolent means that even younger kids can tune in and learn. Other aspects of the story reinforce positive issues like overcoming challenges, respecting others, and being open to new ideas. On the whole, the characters are great models of responsibility, both personally and with respect to other people, and the story centers on a strong family unit whose relationships inspire its members to reach out to others. Older tweens and teens might be turned off by the movie's overly sweet messages, but the story offers families a lot to think and talk about at its end. Expect some blatant product placement, since the movie was produced by Walmart and Proctor & Gamble.
What's the story?
High school football star Tyler McFarland (Tony Oller) is poised to lead his team to a state championship, but he faces a dilemma of conscience when he learns that two of his teammates are bullying Cory (Joseph Adler), a new kid in school. As team captain, Tyler has a responsibility to uphold the squad's moral code, but doing so could jeopardize their chances at state. As for Cory, a foster kid whose mother's death orphaned him at a young age, the disheartening experience with his new classmates solidifies his resolve for a solitary life and encourages him to give up football. Meanwhile, Tyler's sister, Lucy (Alyssa Jordan Shafer), discovers that an old video camera she received as a gift inexplicably shows her scenes that might help heal Cory's emotional wounds, and Tyler's mom, Jody (Faith Ford), who's also the school guidance counselor, attempts to reach out to her new student and offer him hope for the future.
Is it any good?
Walmart and Proctor & Gamble join forces again to bring families together for entertainment that feeds both the mind and the soul. FIELD OF VISION, the fifth installment in the sponsors’ Family Movie Night sequence, is a sweet story that takes a sanitized but honest look at bullying, a relevant issue for parents and kids of any age. Although the characters are teens, the story keeps the content light enough that kids won't be frightened (in other words, this bullying isn't violent beyond some shoving), and they'll come away from the movie with a better understanding of how this negative behavior can hurt others and cost the instigators their reputations and privileges.
This movie's themes of perseverance, honesty, and respect, among others, are so blatant –- and in many cases spelled out in quotes like "If I am not for others, what am I?" –- that even young kids will grasp their meaning. This lends itself nicely to family discussions about overcoming challenges and helping others in addition to the lessons to be found about bullying. But although these characteristics cater to families with younger kids, the movie's sugary tone might not ring as true with older tweens and teens. Parents will also appreciate that the story draws parallels between its characters and those in stories like The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, which might spark kids' interest in those and other classics.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about bullying. Have you ever witnessed bullying? Did you do anything about it? How does bullying make victims feel? Why do you think bullies pick on others? How can you stand up to bullies?
Kids: What does it mean to "walk in someone else's shoes"? How can putting yourself in someone else's position change how you feel about him or her? Why is it important to respect the differences between people?
Which characters in this movie are good role models? What about their behavior makes them admirable? Who are some of your role models? What characteristics do you like about them? How do you strive to be like them?
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