The Right Stuff
After a decade of teaching special needs, Mike Kersjes (John Corbett - November Christmas) feels like he has hit a brick wall, lacking motivation whilst frustrated by the attitudes of others towards the kids he teaches with the help of Robyyn (Jessy Schram - Jane Doe: How to Fire Your Boss) and the support of his wife Darcy (Moira Kelly - Taken Back: Finding Haley). When following another less than successful field trip, where one of the children in his class took a wad of pamphlets for the NASA space camp, Mike decides that maybe space camp would be an interesting idea for his students, even though Robyyn believes he is wasting his time even thinking about it as everyone will say no. Sick of listening to people saying his kid's can't do anything Mike sets about making it happen, not letting the constant negativity and obstacles prevent it from happening and dealing with those who would try to sabotage it after all his hard work.
"A Smile as Big as the Moon" is the sort of movie which does what the title says, it gives you a smile as big as the moon when you watch it. And the reason for that is this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, which is based on a true story, works on various levels which combine to make it a charming, uplifting and an inspirational movie which once it is over you will have on your list of movies you have to watch again.
So why is that then? Well first there is Mike Kersjes' story and his never give up attitude. As such we have this man who doesn't see the word "no" as final; in fact he seems to become empowered when he is told "no" to turn it into a "yes". We also see how this man thinks outside of the box when it comes to getting things done as well as being a father figure to these children. Of course there is more to "A Smile as Big as the Moon" than that as in typical fashion Mike's determination borders on obsessive and this has knock on effects from the football team he coaches feeling like he isn't paying them the attention he should to his wife thinking that maybe his determination is driven from his refusal to be beaten rather than a passion for the kids.
But it is not just about Mike as "A Smile as Big as the Moon" is also about the children he teaches and how each one of them has a gift, some thing they can do which makes them as good as others or in some cases better. And it is uplifting to see those who have special needs portrayed in such a positive light, showing their capabilities rather than focusing on what they can't do, showing how they can contribute to the World and society. But it also shows the darkness of some people who not only mock these children but feel like they shouldn't really get to do anything, believing those perceived as normal should be first choice.
What this all boils down to is that "A Smile as Big as the Moon" is a moving, touching, uplifting and inspiring movie which will warm the hearts of those who watch, open their eyes and encourage them to never give up.