What if a "gift from God" was just a loan? OscarĀ(r) winners* Shirley Jones ("The Partridge Family"), Cloris Leachman (Spanglish) and Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) lead an all-star cast including Seymo... more »ur Cassel (Rushmore), Frank Gorshin (Batman), Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me"), Jill Eikenberry ("L.A. Law") and Shelley Duvall (The Shining) in this feel-good comedy about faith and family.When a blizzard of cash falls mysteriously from the sky into the hands of a family in Buffalo, New York, young Theresa declares it a miracle. Now, years later, Theresa (Ursula Burton) has become a nun and decides they must pay it back! Calling her eccentric and bickering family back to Buffalo, she announces that they must find a way to raise the money. The best idea yet? A dance contest!*Jones: Supporting Actress, Elmer Gantry (1960); Leachman: Supporting Actress, The Last Picture Show (1971); Fletcher: Actress, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)« less
"This is a great movie about real people from a real neighborhood. It showed what can happen when a bunch of ordinary people pool the skills - and their love - to work on a common project (raising the money) that most of them thought they no longer had the drive/passion/whatever to do because they had become resigned to living in their limited ways.
As for for the reviewer who said it was unrealistic, they probably don't understand a few things, such as: 1. In real life, a lot more money ($1 mil plus) fell out of the back of a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia truck and was recovered in a neighborhood. They also made a so-so movie out of that story. 2. If you're 57 like I am, you know that $3,300 apiece could have bought you a new Cadillac in the late 1950s-early 60s, so it was enough to finance educations or trade school tuitions. And a doctor's visit did cost under $20. 3. The emotional parts were very realistic. Some of the people argued to keep the money and some argued to give it back to the police -a realistic difference of opinion. I can't say more or I give away too much of the story. 4. The opening scenes showed people who were taken in to another's home. People did take in other people to their homes more often in those days, helping one another altruisticly. Everyone didn't live 3 superhighway exits away in the suburbs. For example, when my own mother had a gall bladder operation in the 1950s, a woman friend of the family took me into her home for a few weeks one summer.
The writer is a real, middle class person from Buffalo, where the story is set, who raised 5 daughters. She speaks naturally in the DVD special features (and is in the movie as one of the dance school clients with her real husband). She looks and sounds like a Northeastern neighbor, not a fast talking Hollywood writer driving around in a Mercedes that is 3 payments overdue.
I will go so far as to say that if you don't see the spiritual truths from real life in this movie, you are still being affected by a harsh, fearfull, negative upbringing. I suggest you watch the movie again and see what you can learn from it."
A lot of heart ....
Barbara B. | Oregon, USA | 10/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the criticisms aimed at this movie are probably accurate, as far as they go. Yes, this isn't a great movie. It's the film equivalent of watching a high school drama club put on a play -- it's not going to be a top Broadway production, but it can make up for its lack of professionalism with a great deal of heart and good intentions.
If you judge this film strictly by technical or artistic merits, it's not going to rate very high. But if you can set aside your regular standards a bit and just sit back and enjoy it, you'll have a good time. If nothing else, it's got a great cast and is a sweet natured tribute to those old "Let's put on a show" movie!
Not all movies have to be Cannes film festival winners. Some just have to make you smile, and this one did."
Some heart at last
Ben Gilworth | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's rare that an indie film can leave you smiling. This one has that thing you don't see often in the art houses, let alone the multiplexes -- heart. A movie about families and about doing the right thing."
This may not be Academy Award material, but I enjoyed it.
Monica K. Van Ness | Aurora, CO United States | 04/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I suppose that you could say that this is a simple movie. It doesn't pretend to be some big budget, over the top, award-winning film. It also is not pretentious. It is a movie that simply tells a story of a family that comes into some money in an unusual way, and has to deal with the consequences of that windfall in the future. I enjoyed the story - even when the story seemed a bit farfetched. In fact, I found it to be a charming family-type movie."
A glimpse of familiar territory
PATRICK J. MCKENNA | St.Marys, GA United States | 12/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up in WNY, so it was especially fun to watch this movie, which was filmed in Buffalo. I'm certainly no Roger Ebert, but I did enjoy the story enough to give this a thumbs up."