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Children on Their Birthdays (2002)

Sheryl Lee , Christopher McDonald , Mark Medoff  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sheryl Lee, Christopher McDonald, Tom Arnold, Joe Pichler, Tania Raymonde
  • Directors: Mark Medoff
  • Writers: Douglas Sloan, Truman Capote
  • Producers: Billy Higgins, Ginger T. Perkins, Howard Baldwin, Karen Elise Baldwin, Nick Zuvic
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008J2OS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,967 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Children on Their Birthdays" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making-of Featurette

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A young girl and her mother arrive into a small town and set of a sequence of events that change the town forever. Stars Christopher McDonald, Tania Raymonde, Tom Arnold; directed by Mark Medoff, based on a short story by Truman Capote. Celine Dion perf

Fans of film adaptations of Truman Capote's original fiction will delight in the familiar terrain of Southern nostalgia and wide-eyed yearning that defines Children on Their Birthdays. Based on a Capote story, this 2002 feature stars Joe Pichler as Billy Bob, a boy whose post-World War II horizons broaden considerably with the arrival of Lilly Jane (Tania Raymonde), a glistening idealist and would-be Hollywood starlet, in his Medda, Alabama, neighborhood. So exotic, erudite, and almost recklessly expansive is Lilly Jane that she lights a fire of progressive thought (or perhaps truer courtesy) in the habitually racist community, inspiring Billy Bob to outgrow his narrow boyhood. Typical of Capote, there is something of the Dying Swan about Lilly Jane, but her Mystery is genuine and affecting. Playwright Mark Medoff directs with conviction but little skill; the film is saved by pure heart and a solid cast, including Sheryl Lee and Christopher McDonald. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Family Film January 17, 2004
I never heard ANYTHING at all about this movie which my husband brought home from a clearance rack. It turned out to be the BEST film I have seen in the past year!! The dialogue was realistic and masterfully done, with a terrific cast of child actors, and wonderful direction that reminded me of "The Wonder Years" television show, all topped of with the beautiful voice of Celine Dion's music enhancing the movie. The movie was funny, engaging, moving , and full of substance as it delt with truly valuable issues and lessons in life through the unfolding of the story in a non-didactic but enjoyable manner.(Such as capacity for some to grow and change,fear of change and the unknown, particularlly when in comes to racism, and reparation for wrongs.) This is a family film that is not to be missed, although I do think it is suitable for children ages 8 and up as younger children wouldn't understand or apprechiate its content. (There is however nothing OBJECTIONABLE for younger kids) I do happen to agree that one reason that this was not a box office hit is because of the casting of the main character. Although she is a remarkably talented actress and I personally loved her execution of every line of her role, both my husband, and my son independently stated that they found the supporting actresses to be MUCH more physically attractive than her. For them, despite all the issues of SUBSTANCE in the film, that one cosmetic fact did affect the credibility of all the town boys having the big crush on the lead character (when they found the other girls to be so much cuter!) Considering the typical shallowness of what sells in theaters, this movie didn't meet that criteria of having a convincingly georgous leading girl whose trailers alone will bring people to the box office. If people HAD heard of this movie and had it gotten ANY media attention, it would undoubtedly have been a huge hit!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The unknown movie April 30, 2003
By A Customer
Of course I heard about this movie because of the title song "I have to dream" which is sung by Celine. A beautiful song it is brings contrast to a wonderful protrayal of characters in this movie.
I bought the movie despite it did not fair well in the box office, which I feel is due to limited showings. Anyway the main character, Lilly Jane is hilarious. This was a pleasant and family oriented movie that adults and children can enjoy. A great movie to watch over holidays or days that children have to stay indoors. Give the movie a viewing. I think it is needed in this day of violent, sex, and objectional material placed in front of innocent children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reviewers who complain about the lead's acting miss the point - it isn't the actress whose acting is unnatural, it's the character of Lily who is pretending to be something she isn't. Raised by a mother who is unable to speak while moving from town to town on the edge of respectability, she has developed an elaborate fantasy world. Her accent, her mannerisms, and her vocabulary are all part of her attempt to pretend her way out of a rather sad life. She is a strange girl with a great imagination and a good heart even if she is prone to self-delusion. In the song she sings at the end, she lets us know that she is aware that her hopes are little more than a fantasy, but she justifies clinging to them as she sings, "You see the tarnish, I see the gleam... I have to dream."

One has the sense that the boys like her because she is unusual, because they are young enough to be taken in a little bit by her put-on glamour, and also because they want to help her. She is very much the same character as Holly Go-Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, another short story by Truman Capote that was made into a movie, and another story that was made less gritty in the film version.

It is unrealistic when Lila's outburst in church causes people to reconsider restricting the black members of the congregation to the balcony, as the adults would have been more likely to scold her and rationalize away her concerns, but I still found her righteous indignation heartening. The character of Lily is not too perfect to be real however - her first attempt to bridge the racial divide in her community is not as successful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING! May 3, 2003
I was walking through the movie rental place as usual not able to find one that sounded the least bit entertaining to me and then this one caught my eye. At first I looked just because the little girl on the front (Lily Jane) was really pretty. Then I read the back of the video and it sounded really good. Lily Jane (the main girl in the movie) is a little strange but she brings the whole movie together. And the little boy (Billy Bob) was the sweetest guy ever!!!!!! This is the most amazing movie and I really recommend it for anyone who is looking for something entertaining.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film for the Entire Family December 14, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is excellent and pleasurable for the whole Family. It deals with the harsh reality of racism, inequality and stereotypes with such grace. And not in a patronizing fashion. Lilly Jane comes to this small town and with classic southern charm and grace begins to wear away at the racist social structures in this town. Needless to say her group of friends also helps to rid the region of a notorious con man all the same. My children have watched this DVD for 5 days in a row and are watching it again now. Celine Dion does an excellent job with the voice over for Lilly Janes singing.
Oftentimes it's hard for parents to sit through childrens movies, but this is not the case for this film. This is a excellent movie for everyone,children and adults.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film for young people
This is a splendid film for young people without any fear of any kind of objectionable material. It won a family film award at a Houston film festival.7
Published 10 days ago by Chuck Brinkleigh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story from the late 40's and not just that
Great story from the late 40's and not just that, but any baby boomer can relate to this comedy/drama of growing up in this post WW2 era. The acting is superb. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jefferson Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Heart Warming Movie
This movie is so heart warming. Parents should sit with their children age 7 to 11 and watch it with them. There's so many messages in this movie. Read more
Published 7 months ago by LunaLady
5.0 out of 5 stars Children on thier birthdays
Children on their Birthdays nice movie the whole family can watch it takes place in a better time of life.
Published 9 months ago by rosemary thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrific!
I really loved this movie. Great for the whole family. It has something for everyone. I highly recommend adding this movie to your DVD collection.
Published 14 months ago by K. Darren
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for kids and adults
I got this because I am a huge Sheryl Lee fan! She is great in this movie, although hearing her speak with a southern accent is alittle disconcerting. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. Mcmillen
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inexpensive, high quality DVD's!
I had gone to my library, and found a great movie entitled, "Children on their Birthdays", and really loved it. I asked if I could buy it form them, saying I'd pay $10 for it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by R. Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars So Happy
I am so happy i found this movie I lived in Aurora Il. and they filmed this movie right out my door my son was about 3 1/2 4 yrs old everyday we would sit outside and watch them... Read more
Published on September 14, 2012 by Christina W
5.0 out of 5 stars Family movie multi plot
Wish they had this in blu ray. the girl in this movie is beautiful & talented, so is the supportive actors. sort of reminds me of my childhood
Published on September 10, 2012 by Shelby R. Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Children On their Birthdays
Saw part of movie ways back,could not find it anywhere because we didn't know title. Chanced upon it again on HBO,checked with Amazon. Read more
Published on August 5, 2012 by Maryam
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