Fielder's Choice (2005)
Daddy Decision Time
The set up is familiar, the acting is a little shaky and the humour is both weak and corny but to be honest for all that is wrong about "Fielder's Choice" it's still a fun, pleasant little movie full of positives. I say obvious because here we have the familiar storyline of a single, career focused man becoming guardian to a young child and as such we get the typical humour of him being ill equipped to raise a child. But in typical fashion he grows close to his young nephew but doesn't realise it till he has to make a choice whether to continue trying to care for him or ship him out to a relative. It is all very obvious and so squeaky clean and nice that it is corny but for a TV movie "Fielder's Choice" delivers the nicety which you expect especially from a Hallmark movie.
Philip Fielder (Chad Lowe - Unfaithful) is a workaholic and a bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness and order, which may explain why he is still single despite his neighbour Holly (Marin Hinkle) being fond of him. But when his sister dies in a road accident he finds himself legal guardian of his nephew Zach (Kesun Loder) and unsurprisingly finds himself struggling to be a parent to an 8 year old boy who is autistic whilst also trying to do his job in advertising. But with his Aunt Rose (Miriam Flynn) offering to take Zach off his hands Philip has a choice to make as to whether he can care for Zach or not or will it come down to how much he has grown fond of his nephew in the few short days they have spent together?
So there is a strong case of deja vu going on with "Fielder's Choice" as the storyline focuses on Uncle Philip finding himself the legal guardian of Zach when his mother dies. As such there is a lot of familiarity as we watch the workaholic and single Philip suddenly thrown into the world of fatherhood and finding it difficult. It does embellish this slightly as Philip is a bit OCD when it comes to neatness and order whilst Zach is autistic and as such has his own whims if you like. And these little additions such as Zach having a set weekly menu to Philip putting his pens away in a certain way add both something more and a touch of comedy.
But because we are on familiar ground with "Fielder's Choice" there are very few surprises and we know that for all the fun of Philip struggling to be a dad to Zach it will boil down to his choice of persevering or asking his Aunt Rose to care for Zach. The outcome of which is obvious as Philip realises not only how much he has bonded with his nephew in the few chaotic days they have spent together but also how much he loves him.
As such "Fielder's Choice" is one of those peachy clean, feel good movies where you know there will be a happy ending and along the way there it will be full of nicety. And as such "Fielder's Choice" is not the most realistic of movies from minor dramas sorted out so easily such as Zach running away to where he use to live to Philip's job in advertising and a cheating rival who steals his ideas.
Now if "Fielder's Choice" had been a mainstream movie I know I would have moaned about the acting, it is at times shaky, all very one level and at times cheesy but because we have a TV movie it's sort of acceptable, don't ask me why it just is. So Chad Lowe is fun as Uncle Philip, be it his OCD ordering of things through to the exasperation of finding his home wrecked by young Zach. And Kesun Loder, who is credited as K'Sun Ray, has the right cute factor as young Zach especially when he breaks into a huge smile. But these are not great performances or are those from more recognizable stars such as George Segal who is Philip's boss and Charles Napier who is perfect as full on Taco Bob.
What this all boils down to is that "Fielder's Choice" is basically everything you expect from a Hallmark movie which works through the familiar idea of a single man suddenly finding himself the guardian of a young child. It is all very obvious, overly nice and often quite corny but it is charming, amusing and simply very nice and if all you want is a nice movie then you couldn't go that far wrong with "Fielder's Choice".
Tags: Instant Families
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