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Ordinary Magic [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Glenne Headly, David Fox, Anver Jameel, Kamalini Selvarajan
  • Directors: Giles Walker
  • Writers: Jefferson Lewis, Malcolm Bosse
  • Producers: Mark Winemaker, Paul Stephens
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: American Home Entert
  • VHS Release Date: February 2, 1994
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305498687
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,161 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Drama

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Thought the movies storyline strays from the book, the message is still the same. It is a very heartwarming story about a boy (Ryan Reynolds) who grows up in India. When is father passes away, he moves to Canada to live with his aunt (Glenne Headley). He has a tough time fitting in with his peers, but eventually makes friends with a basketball player. He even catches the head cheerleaders attention. But all looks threatened when the county wants to tear down the house that his grandfather built. Only he has the key to save the house, and his history. Moving and very touching. One that the whole family will love, or just you.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Havan_IronOak on May 27, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
When Warren Moore dies as a Canadian expatriate in India, he leaves a son Jeffrey who has been raised his entire life in India and who has been taught to follow Indian beliefs including Hinduism.
Jeffrey (nicknamed Ganesh by his father) is forced to return to Canada to live with Charlotte, his father's sister. Jeffrey's beliefs are as foreign and unsuited for Canada as his wardrobe.
Charlotte is not entirely able to take care of herself, let alone a teenager who is different. She has been ignoring legal notices for some time and is in danger of losing the family's ancestral home.
Jeffrey's fellow high school students and even his teachers quickly single him out as different. He is mocked for his different way of speaking but the students and faculty soon learn that Jeffrey has an inner strength that makes him different in positive ways as well.
Some students are more generous of spirit. Tom, the captain of the high school basketball team, and Lucy, a girl at the school, take an interest in him and befriend him.
Jeffrey finally gains acceptance and a bit of local notoriety when he starts to aid his aunt in the struggle to keep the family home. He explains the principles of satyagraha to her and they begin a hunger strike that end up changing the whole town.
This movie is a great story, well told. The movie has an honest, genuine, life affirming quality ably served by the Cat Stephens music sprinkled throughout. Ryan Reynolds and Joe Roncetti are adorable as Jeffrey and Tom and Glenne Headly is very convincing as Charlotte.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. (Harry) Hernandez VINE VOICE on June 25, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
This 1993 Canadian offering was the first time I ever saw Ryan Reynolds, that super-hunk who is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorite actors. Here he plays Jeffrey "Ganesha" Moore, an Indian boy who, upon the death of his beloved father, is forced to move to Canada to live with his aunt.

Since Jeffrey and his father are expats, it is certainly a challenge Reynolds met beautifully, playing an Indian. His accent is not ridiculous, which speaks volumes, and his spirit was what made me fall in love with him right away; he lives by Gandhi-ji's teaching of nonviolence (satyagraha). He manages to teach his aunt and new friends all about true Indian magic.

This film is a delight in several ways. Ganeshi/Jeffrey is deeply sincere and the film is accurate in conveying Gandhi's way. The flashbacks to his home and life in India are charming and very real; his shock upon arriving in Canada is quite hilarious as well. Reynolds went on to do his biggest hit to date, THE PROPOSAL with Sandra Bullock (see my review)--and he has blossomed into a skillful, riveting actor with a hell of a future waiting.

This film featured some great cameos: one by Patrick McKenna (Harold of "Red Green" fame) as an idiot TV newscaster, which will have you rolling on the floor as he tries to pronounce "satyagraha". Another fascinating cameo, as the nasty land developer, is deftly handled by Paul Anka (a longtime favorite entertainer of mine).

Don't fall for the after school special argument against this film. It was wildly ahead of its time for the era--I saw it when it was new--and it has a quality one does not often glimpse nowadays. It represents a culture clash that is readily accessible today.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a small Canadian Movie based on a book by Malcolm Bosse that exists only on VHS. I value my copy and get it out to watch at least once a year. One the pleasures of watching it is to see 15-year-old Ryan Reynolds playing the leading role.

Jeffrey Moore/Ganesh is a Caucasian raised by his father as a Hindu Vegan in India. No mention is made of what befell his mother but as the story begins his father is dying of heart failure. When his father expires Jeffrey digs up the family fortune stored in a tiny vault in the earth under the chicken coop in the back yard. Using an old letter from his father's sister and the cash Jeffrey sets off by plane dressed in sandals and sarong to meet his Aunt Charlotte at Malton Airport in the middle of an Ontario winter.

If Paris on the Grand in Ontario is unprepared to meet Jeffrey his Aunt who works at a local cafe has no clue about raising a self-reliant teen male. Jeffrey's teacher at High School represents all that is worst in a bigoted, smart-Alec. He's the kind of teacher we'd like to think no longer exists. In a small town that worships teen sports athletes Jeffrey practices Yoga startling his gym teacher when he sits on the bottom of the swimming pool holding his breath for over 4 minutes.

The movie then is about the manner in which Jeffrey wins the respect of his peers and the town at large shrugging off racist jibes directed at his stilted use of the English Language and his choice in clothing. Both have something to learn from the other as do we. This is a charming bit of movie making.

Fun to see Paul Anka in a bit part as the villain.
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