My True Fairytale
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Moving if uneven labor of love has some sad scenes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes seeking forgiveness, closeness between parents and children, the idea of reconciling relationships. Clear message to not take life for granted, to relish time we have with family and friends. Compassion and empathy are themes.
Positive Role Models
Angie is selfless, loyal, caring. She wants to help others heal and grow closer. Andre and Sarah are loving, and he manages to be respectful even when it's clear that Sarah's mother is acting in a racist manner. Dean learns how to communicate more honestly.
Violence & Scariness
The accident is frightening; a teen is hospitalized and shown with visible injuries.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Andre and Sarah kiss. Other couples embrace.
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A White mom makes coded racist comments (e.g., "that kind of boy") about her daughter's Black boyfriend.
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Products & Purchases
The car that gets into an accident is a Range Rover. A character wears Converse sneakers.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few adults are shown with alcohol (like when Angie's grandmother has a nightcap, or a couple on a date has a drink at a meal).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My True Fairytale is a labor of love by director D. Mitry, who dedicated the drama to his late daughter, who died in a car accident at the age of 17. The film focuses on a teen girl named Angie (Emma Kennedy) who's in a serious crash and then tries to become a real-life superhero, helping and healing others. Expect a couple of intense moments -- including the opening accident scene, a teen who's injured, and some emotionally raw conversations. While there's no cursing, a White mom makes coded racist comments about her daughter's Black boyfriend. Various characters visibly grieve and cry after the crash. A worried boyfriend sneaks into his girlfriend's room, and they kiss. Adults drink infrequently.
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My True Fairytale
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What's the Story?
As MY TRUE FAIRYTALE begins, three high school friends are taking a joyride -- one that ends with their car going over a bridge and into the water. Immediately after the serious crash, only two of the three are accounted for: hospitalized couple Sarah (Morgan Lindholm) and Andre (B.J. Mitchell). The third, Angie (Emma Kennedy), is missing. Angie's grandparents (Joanna Cassidy and Bruce Davison), who raised her, and her estranged father, Dean (Darri Ingolfsson), are distraught and hope she'll be found soon. Meanwhile, Angie resurfaces, grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, so she embarks on a quest to be a real-life superhero and save the world one friend and loved one at a time. While Sarah and Andre deal with her mother's obvious racism (Sarah is White, Andre is Black) and resistance to their relationship, Angie's mission includes helping various sets of children and parents, including working on her own relationship with Dean.
Is It Any Good?
A filmmaker's love for his late daughter manifests on screen with this touching, if occasionally uneven, drama with fable-like elements about holding on and forgiving those you love. My True Fairytale should come with an intro that explains director D. Mitry's personal motivation: The movie is dedicated to his late daughter, who died in a car accident at 17. That's not to say that the movie's errors in execution should be overlooked, but it's easier to forgive the film's flaws and focus on its hopeful aspects if you know the backstory. The ethereal, otherworldly parts of the movie telegraph what's really going on, so the power of the reveal is somewhat underwhelming, but it's always clear that Angie's impact on others is positive, generous, and life-altering.
Angie's effect on her father's and best friends' futures is the movie's biggest highlight. Kennedy and Ingolfsson have decent father-daughter chemistry, and their characters' honest discussions are moving. Some of the subplots with the random interconnected side characters, however, are less dynamic -- even though all of the threads come together (in a predictable way) in the end. Lindholm and Mitchell give standout performances as Sarah and Andre, a teen couple so sweet and supportive that it's almost ridiculously obvious why her mother isn't happy about their relationship. Taylor Cole (a Hallmark movie veteran) is also impressive as Dean's girlfriend, who calls him out on his emotional distance. This passion project is far from perfect, but it has a lot of heart and, with that in mind, will be particularly moving for parents.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the messages in My True Fairytale. What are they? What can viewers learn from Angie's journey?
How does the story convey the importance of empathy and compassion? Why are they important character strengths?
Does knowing about the director's tragic inspiration for the movie affect your opinion of it? Why, or why not? What are some other movies with similar reveals?
- In theaters: April 9, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: April 9, 2021
- Cast: Emma Kennedy, Joanna Cassidy, Bruce Davison
- Director: D. Mitry
- Studio: Gravitas Ventures
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Superheroes, Friendship
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 7, 2022
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