I recently had the opportunity to review a new release, Homeless for the Holidays, addressing this very, and not uncommon, scenario . This 2009 Christian production, that was previously in limited release theatrically, is now available on DVD through various Christian retailers - just in time for inspirational holiday viewing for the family.
The movie, based on a true story, is about Jack Baker, a wealthy executive who loses his job. At first, he's confident he'll get called back to work any time. As time goes on, Jack comes to the realization that things might not be so optimistic. In desperation, Jack eventually finds himself working at the local burger joint, further humiliated by a required penguin suit uniform.
While now employed, it isn't enough to make ends meet and Jack and his family are faced with the real possibility of being homeless within days of Christmas. Of course, along the way, Jack has some lessons to be learned about himself and others.
The message is so appropriate for today's time and it is no surprise it is based on a true story. While the topic is depressing, the film is not without plenty of comedy, as well as inspiration, and will be enjoyed by the whole family. Matt Moore, who has an unreal resemblance both in looks and style to Adam Sandler, played the lead as Jack Baker and was excellent. I later found out that all of the actors volunteered their time, which more than made up for the variances of acting ability. And for some of the cast, this storyline was all too real. You can read more about the story behind the movie and the cast here.
As a homeschooler, Homeless for the Holidays gets bonus points for being about a homeschool family. It isn't highlighted nor even mentioned, but confirmed with a background line of the mom ending the school day with the kids and also one mention of mom as the teacher. I liked the subtle reference, which presented homeschooling as normal enough to not be highlighted.
What I most appreciated were some of the behind the scenes included on the DVD, like footage of the auditions and a video diary by the producer. It confirmed for me what I already suspected - this production was created with passion and family like fellowship, unlike a Hollywood production. In fact, the producer, an unemployed father of four, took a step in faith and funded the entire project. Through the hard work and the volunteered time of others, the entire film was shot for only $20,000. You can read more about the movie and the production at the Breathe Motion Pictures website.
For me, the background of the film more than made up for the shortcomings of not having a big Hollywood budget. Homeless for the Holidays is inspirational not only in its message, but how it came to be.
NOW CLOSED! Now, for the exciting news! I have an extra copy and you have an opportunity to win your own Homeless for the Holidays DVD.
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