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A heartwarming and funny hit that's earned overwhelming critical acclaim, SIMON BIRCH features great performances from stars Ashley Judd (DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, HIGH CRIMES, KISS THE GIRLS) and Oliver Platt (BICENTENNIAL MAN, DON'T SAY A WORD) in an outstanding cast! Even though Simon Birch is the smallest kid in town, deep down he knows that he was born to do something big! He's on a constant search to discover his destiny, but somehow manages to find nothing but trouble! Meanwhile, Simon's loyal best friend, Joe (Joseph Mazzello -- JURASSIC PARK, RADIO FLYER), is searching for the identity of his father, a secret his beautiful mother (Judd) has guarded Joe's entire life. Discover for yourself the undeniable charms of this uplifting and inspirational motion picture as these two share the hilarious, and sometimes tragic, ups and downs that will forever bind them together!
This screen adaptation of John Irving's novel A Prayer for Owen Meany was appreciated much more by audiences than by the majority of disapproving critics. Irving's books have fared only moderately well on film, and while The World According to Garp garnered critical praise, The Hotel New Hampshire was waiting in the wings to counteract the fanfare. Simon Birch is one of those nostalgic movies--determined to view the past in rose-colored hues--despite the fact that its protagonist, a dwarf named Simon Birch, is wholeheartedly unsympathetic. The film opens weepily, with Jim Carrey as the adult version of the film's main character and narrator, Joe Wenteworth (played as a youth by the serious young actor Joseph Mazzello). He's mourning at the grave of his best childhood friend, Simon Birch, with whom he had bonded instantly because both were misfits--one a dwarf, the other illegitimate. The deck is stacked from the beginning, especially when the camera dwells on Joe's luscious mom, Rebecca (Ashley Judd), who refuses to reveal the identity of Joe's father, which in turn urges Simon and Joe to embark on a quest to discover Joe's paternity. In a plot point that resembles The Scarlet Letter, the tide of fate turns on the "immoral" mom just as she's on the verge of finding true love with a decent fellow (played by Oliver Platt). Simon Birch ultimately descends into crudeness, though it asks the audience to continue to engage with its crass lead character. By the end, the film is reduced to drivel, cliché, and melodrama to tug our heartstrings into submission. All the things that should have been the film's focus--guilt, self-loathing, and redemption--remain elusive. --Paula Nechak
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The example of the joyful, tender mother who loved everyone and brought the best out in each person, as opposed to the mean-spirited woman in charge of the children's activities in the church, who brought angst, tension and unhappiness to the children.
The contrast of Ben, the calm, loving and strongly committed man, as opposed the the Priest who is uptight, judgmental and blind to the needs and gifts of others.
Simon who is so very small but has the heart of a lion (he will steal your heart!).
Joe who is so unlike Hollywood's sulky resentful child: his caring and his gentleness with younger children is so sincere.
There are others who have 'said it all' so I will not write more, except to say that I highly recommend this film.
I used to watch this movie every day after school on direct tv. EVERY DAY!
Im 20 now and i just remembered it when i saw it here flipping threw the children and family movies.
I always wanted it to own...and im happy amazon had for such a cheap price.
I literally cried at the ending ...
its not some sad story.
its a fun inspiring and dramatic film filled with humor, joy and meaning
it's a must for every young person.
It really should have been considered for the oscars. the acting the directing was superb and any young person or adult will enjoy!
buy this movie and it wont disappoint! one of my childhood favorites.
Update for 9/24/2017 I bought a second copy as a gift for one of my next door neighbor who teaches special needs kids and thought that it would be a great movie to show in her classroom, and I'm going to give it to her as an upcoming Christmas gift this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!