Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
2005 Dreamworks SKG
From the beauty of the Kentucky countryside, to the thrilling racing scenes and the tender family moments, Dreamer presents a wonderful feel-good story for all ages. Sophisticated and pretentious critics may well mock Dreamer because the story of a fractured family re-united by a love for animals is not exactly original (see Racing Stripes, for example), but they miss the point. When I took my 11-year-old daughter and two of her friends to an advance screening of Dreamer courtesy of Grace Hill Media, I wasn't looking for a realistic story in which our favorite characters ended up crushed under the weight of life's trials and I was left trying to comfort three sixth-grade girls whose giggles had turned to sobs by the end. Rather, I got what I hoped for--a story which offered emotional moments, but left everyone happy at the end. One of the girls told me she'd give it three thumbs up, if she had three thumbs.
Dreamer is unique in that a very deliberate Christian connection has been made by Dreamworks. A song by Christian artist Bethany Dillon plays during the credits, and footage from the movie is included in Bethany's video (viewable at the Dreamer website). The Dreamworks website includes both a Family Faith and Values Activity Guide and a Religious Study Guide for Dreamer. Cynics might say they're just trying to cash in on the religious market after seeing the success of The Passion of the Christ, but even if that's true, the trend is refreshingly positive. Hollywood movies with big-name actors and no sensual content lobbying for a Christian audience? It would have been hard to imagine a few years ago.
I conclude with basically the same paragraph I wrote for The Greatest Game Ever Played:
Dreamer is an inspiring movie, rated PG for a couple of "damn" and "hell" expletives. It's a true family movie, humorous and entertaining while teaching lessons of perseverance. The audience clapped at the end, something I haven't heard at many movies. I highly recommend this movie for ages 10 and up.
Visit the official Dreamer website.