Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Makenzie Vega, Abigail Breslin, Christine Tucci, Justin Louis, Irene Olga López
Director: Robert Vince
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family
In this heartwarming family comedy, orphaned young sisters Sal and Rae think their dreams have come true when they find an adorable, abandoned Great Dane puppy and, on the same day, learn that they?ve been adopted. But, w... more »
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Sweet, innocent fun with its own magical touch
MollyRK | Chicago | 09/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After coming across this DVD by complete accident at my local library, I must admit that for me, a prominent draw to the film was the fact that "Starring Abigail Breslin, Star of Little Miss Sunshine" was written across the front of the box. Surely, this little advertisement is understandable, given young Breslin's recent Oscar nomination and steadily rising status as a consistent child actress.
With two adorable little girls and a charming puppy adorning the cover of the DVD, it already indicates that genre that many of us love, especially in today's world--87 minutes of purely bright, fluffy entertainment that can be enjoyed by children, teenagers, college kids, adults, and basically just about anyone who likes this kind of thing. If "Chestnut" is your type of movie, you know exactly who you are, and after all, nothing hits home quite like a story with cute kids and lovable family pets.
Ideal for reeling in even the youngest of children, the plot of is simple: orphaned sisters Sal and Rae (approximately 6 and 8 years old, respectively) come across an abandoned Great Dane puppy, take deliberate measures to hide it from the orphanage staff, and encounter an even messier predicament when they are adopted by a young married couple from Manhattan. Finding a permanent home with one another is a dream come true for these tight-knit siblings, but once they arrive at their dog-free apartment building, they must rely on all their resources to keep Chestnut away from their adoptive parents (one of whom is severely allergic to dogs), their fellow residents, and a very crabby apartment director.
Winner of the Heartland Crystal Heart Award--an honor that praises the film's positive message and appropriate quality for all ages--"Chestnut" is, plain and simple, a lot of fun and easy to love as you begin watching it. The story has the perfect mix of humor and poignancy, making you laugh out loud at some points (watch for a great improvisational scene where Sal and Rae, dripping in fancy jewelry and irresistable side ponytails, jam to the catchy song "That's What Girls Do") yet also depicting some raw, authentic human bonds that are a pleasant asset to the story. Some other reviewers here have commented about questionable scenes with the robbers who target the girls' apartment building, along with some saddening scenes near the end of the film. While an certain accident involving Chestnut might be VERY mildly frightening to some more sensitive children, it's not anything inappropriately graphic, and it's pretty unlikely that kids will lose sleep over it when they watch it. The overall tone is heartwarming and innocent, so it is reasonable for parents to perceive the movie as such.
Although I've already mentioned her in this review, I have to emphasize again that Abigail Breslin is quite an impressive little actress and does a nice job playing Rae. Sweet, adorable, and impeccably gifted at emoting in front of the camera, she is a complete joy to watch and, while immensely talented and natural, is not so overexploited as other starlets her age who shall remain nameless. Makenzie Vega--who recently appeared as Meg Ryan's daughter in 2007's "In the Land of Women" and is the younger sister of actress Alexa Vega--is equally solid and likable as young Sal, serving as a loving and protective big sis to Rae as she does her best to keep everything in order. Breslin and Vega work very well together, creating a convincing formula as onscreen siblings and endearingly mischievous little girls. If there's only one thing I can say to prove that these kids have promising acting careers ahead, it's the fact that they were both required to cry for practically half of the movie's duration, and they were so incredibly competent at getting in character, the camera was able to zoom right in their faces and pronounce those emotions in a truly believable way. I don't know how they got those kids to sob so effortlessly in scene after scene, but it's some pretty good stuff, and it's sure to make your heart break.
Also appealing in this film is the wholly positive example that is set by the adults in the plot. We've all seen those children's movies about the cold orphanages and the cruel people who run them, but that is absolutely not the case at the institution where Sal and Rae live at the beginning of the story. Organized by a group of Catholic nuns (another character stereotype that many filmmakers have a field day with), this orphanage is warm and inviting, the children are treated well, and for once, you can sit back and enjoy a movie that values portraying these things in a nicer light. Of course, what's even more beautiful is what we discover with Sal and Rae's adoptive parents. With the real-world problems that exist with some marriages and orphaned children, isn't it refreshing to watch a genuinely loving husband and wife who are willing to not only give a couple orphans a stable home, but are also amenable to taking in older kids? Hopefully, we will continue to see more people like this in real life--people who eagerly create their own family dynamics, practice attentive and hands-on parenting, and give children a safe, trusting environment to grow up in.
With that being said, this isn't a DVD title that too many people know about, since it did not appear in theaters or receive wider advertisement, but if you happen to see it in a store or as a video rental, I'd recommend that you give it a shot. Unfortunately, there aren't many movies with the same pure quality as this. I guess "cute" and "charming" are the best words I can come up with right now, but hey, those simple words tend to be the mark of something that's actually worth your time, so if you are lucky enough to catch it, get the family together and enjoy a heartfelt story with plenty of youthful spirit and energy to go around! :)"
Great story for young girls
LT | USA | 12/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very heart-warming story that my neices and I really enjoyed. I had never heard of this movie until Dec 18th when my neices saw it previewed on TV. It hasn't received much publicity which surprises me. The story line was predictable to me but still very enjoyable. The two sisters are orphaned, spend time in an orphanage, then adopted. But this part of the story is shown in a way that is not upsetting to my neices (ages 4 and 6.) They watched it over and over. It held their attention - it did not have any boring parts. Really fast-paced and cute. I would reccommend this for all young girls!"
The cutest movie ever!!
L. Ryan | Costa Mesa, CA United States | 10/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is darling!!! Warning for moms: it makes me cry every time! The sisters in the movie are adopted and they bring along a puppy that they have found. But they try to hide it...hilarious! The puppy grows up into a Great Dane! I have 3 girls and they all love it. My girls love dogs so they will watch this one over and over! A very sweet movie!"
Great movie for 5-8 yr olds
K. keane | New York | 05/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"my children love this movie! they are 4, 6 and 8.. they laugh out loud.. very sweet and wholesome show!"