I watched a movie last night that readers might enjoy as a family. (Not the younger kids). It is called “Raising Izzie“
It is about two orphaned girls aged 14 and 10, who are struggling to live on their own in an apartment their dying mother set up for them. It was only a matter of time of course, before they were found out. A year later, a caring teacher of the older girl becomes suspicious when she compares parent signatures on a school paper.
The teacher’s back story is that she wants children, and she and her husband have been trying for a while and haven’t had the desired result. This causes stress on the relationship and their strong faith is tested.
What is obvious to the viewer is that God is building a family between the two parties.
–The teacher and her husband are black and the two girls are white. Can they make a family? Can family include adopting older kids? Can it be interracial?
–God’s people helping the orphan, what is our responsibility? (There were discussions of what should they do, call DFACS? The Police? Take the girls in?)
–The father says he wants children but the wife worries that underneath he is more committed to their child-free lifestyle.
–The wife wants children but begins to resent God for the lack
–The older girl is resentful she has to raise Izzie and is angry at God for failing to answer her prayer to cure her mother of cancer. (It is stated that the girls’ father had died just before Izzie was born)
I REALLY liked the faith seen throughout, not heavy handed or preachy but living it out. When the husband and wife begin to have an argument in the car, he pulls over and prays.
The husband prayed to Jesus, and in Jesus name. That was good.
He supports his wife, not in a doormat way but in a strong, head of the family way.
The dead mother is seen in flashbacks as a caring, involved mother.
Izzie is cute as a button and in a natural way, not a movie way.
Many mentions of God throughout the movie
Is God real? How can we know? Realistic discussions and people having normal thoughts/doubts.
Godly patience is seen throughout and kind words are exalted above bitter words.
The husband is the Godly leader of his home. He is seen to be honoring his wife in many ways.
They go to church. In one of the only arguments in the movie, the teenager and the wife decide on Sunday morning they refuse to go to church. The wife yells, “I’m tired of all this! I’m sick of God!” The husband replies “That’s when you need Him the most!”
In a certain scene the teacher says she had seen and spoken with the girls’ dead mother. (ghost). I can’t say more or it will be a spoiler.
Faith is strengthened only when God performs a miracle. It is still a movie after all. Sigh. It has the climactic moment of “God I’m praying and this is your last chance to show me you’re real or I won’t believe any more”.
At least, during the movie there were several discussions about what we hope for from God and what faith is. The teenager was crumbling in her faith because God didn’t do what she expected…but on the plus side, the husband had several discussions with her (and his wife) that God has ways higher than our ways and His will be done- sometimes unexpectedly. The movie still ended with the concept of “miracle = God is real = faith”
But knowing this, discussions could be had with your kids, “How would you have felt if the ending had been different? How can faith be strengthened in cases where adversity tests it? Isn’t God always working? Do we rely on miracles to prove God is real? Why or why not? How does God work in our lives?”
I didn’t hear any profanity…once the teacher was in a low cut garment, but it was her pajamas after all. … Her church dress showed a bit of cleavage. That’s it.
The movie is set in the Atlanta suburbs. Rockmond Dunbar, Vanessa Williams starring. It had good production values. It was released in 2012. It can be seen on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and is free on Youtube. It is a good family movie.
In a personal opinion, I especially enjoyed Mr Dunbar’s acting. I would happily look for him in other films or television programs.
Oh, and get the tissues. You’ll need them.