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Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble Join Together For Another Family Movie Night

 

Continuing their commitment to create made-for-television movies the entire family can enjoy, Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble will be airing their latest Family Movie Night title this coming Saturday, January 8th at 8/7Central on Fox.

Titled Change of Plans, the film offers an engaging story about Jason (Joe Flanigan, from Stargate Atlantis) and Sally (Brooke White, a top-5 finisher from American Idol), a young career-centered married couple that are suddenly faced with fulfilling a promise from years earlier. A musician whose career is just on the verge of taking flight, Sally suddenly learns her best friend has died on a Peace Corps mission and has declared the singer the guardian of her children.

Jason, an aeronautical engineer dreaming of becoming a test pilot, is just as astounded with the prospects of becoming an instant father. Yet, after some discussion with his wife, he agrees they at least need to give the kids a couple of weeks while Child and Family Services case worker Dorothy (Phylicia Rashad from The Cosby Show) looks for a permanent placement.

While the outcome of the dilemma may not be too surprising, the inclusion of four children from a myriad of backgrounds makes the plot far more interesting. Only one of the children, soon-to-turn 16 Jordan (Jayme Lynn Evans), is a biological child of Sally's deceased friend. The others include 15-year-old Javier (Bobby Soto) from Guatemala; Kaleb (Jakobe Dempsey), a 9-year-old Ugandan whose musical talents fit well with Sally's home studio; and little 6-year-old Sung Lee from China (Clarissa Suwoko). This diverse ethnic makeup creates many new challenges as the children are not only faced with adapting to their unknown circumstances, but also integrating into American culture.

Contrary to what we typically see in television movies, Change of Plans presents problems to overcome but they are resolved through working together and taking the time to communicate on a very personal level. If you, like me, are frustrated with movie and television scripts that leave you wondering, "Why don't they just talk to each other?" this one will be a refreshing change. The script also offers some nice comedy to counterpoint the touching moments.

Considering the youthful cast and Brooke White's relatively scant acting portfolio, the performances from all members of this cast are very strong and believable. White also gets an opportunity to show off her impressive musical abilities. Overall Change of Plans is a fine family drama with virtually no content concerns that continues to demonstrate the dedication P&G and Wal-Mart both have made to bringing Family Movie Night back to prime time broadcast television.

 

Rod Gustafson

 


Besides writing this column for the Parents Television Council, Rod Gustafson authors Parent Previews - a newspaper and Internet column (published in association with movies.com) that reviews movies from a parent's perspective. He's also the film critic for a major Canadian TV station, various radio stations and serves on the executive of the Alberta Association for Media Awareness. Finally, his most important role is being the father to four wonderful children and husband to his beautiful wife (and co-worker) Donna.


Parenting and the Media by Rod Gustafson

The Parents Television Council - www.parentstv.org


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