A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Me Again is a Christian film about a separated family on the brink of divorce, with a father figure (a pastor) who is disengaged and uninvolved in the family's life. Though the film uses humor to explore his malaise and offers positive messages about gratitude and the importance of family, it could be too mature for younger kids, particularly those whose parents have divorced. There's very minor peril when a character is seen experiencing a heart attack but survives. A teenage couple discusses a doctor's appointment to procure birth control. A father has a discussion with a teenage boy who's dating his daughter the possibility and repercussions of sex.
What's the story?
Rich Chaplin (David A.R. White) has a loving wife, April (Ali Landry), an important job as a pastor, a lively community, and a beautiful family. But rather than appreciate the bounty of his good fortune, he is dissatisfied with his work, unhappy at home, and unable to engage with those who love him. One day, after wishing for a different life, he finds himself inhabiting the body of an assorted number of people -- a starving model, an aging grandmother, a ruthless millionaire -- with different perspectives in life, and in the process he begins to see what he has taken for granted.
Is it any good?
ME AGAIN is not light fare. It presents a father struggling to engage with his wife and family and the various ways in which he lets his community down while he wallows in self-pity. The humor is a little goofy, too -- the majority of the laughs here seem to come from seeing a man dressed up as a woman in makeup and heels -- and doing it badly -- or seeing a grown man deal with the discomfort of suddenly inhabiting the body of the teenage boy who happens to be dating his daughter. That sometimes lightens the mood, but the implausibility factor is high in this context, and the time our protagonist spends inhabiting other perspectives isn't always long or nuanced enough to get a real sense for how he's transformed by it.
That said, the movie plays with some nice ideas about what gratitude means, how easy it is to take the people who love us for granted, and what it's like to really see things from someone else's perspective. With a heavy dose of Sunday church lectures, Me Again may work for Christian families looking for a little comedy in their faith-based entertainment, but it's unlikely to curry favor with a secular audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about showing appreciation. How do the characters in the film learn to appreciate each other more? What things can you do every day to show appreciation for your family?
Do you think this film handles possible divorce realistically? Why, or why not?
What did the father learn by experiencing life through other points of view? What are some ways we can try to better understand the experience of others?
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