WRITTEN BY DAVID DICRESCENZO
Few people in America are not familiar with the catch phrase, “Can you say…, I knew you could”. From 1968 until 2001, Fred Rogers invited everyone into his neighborhood and while his target audience was children from 2 – 5 years old, many who grew up watching as children continued to watch and introduced it to their own children.
I had personally never watched the show mainly because I was already far beyond the target audience when it began airing, but also, I suppose like many people, the theme music did not attract me. However, after viewing a pre-screening of the movie “A beautiful day in the neighborhood” by Affirm Films, I know that I missed something very much worth watching. You can view the trailer here.
There is so much I never knew about Fred Rogers that I wish I had, and while I admit that I have a very difficult time with the outspoken politics of Tom Hanks who portrayed him, I have to hand it to him that he once again did a magnificent job with the role and proved why he is such a bankable actor.
In the approximately hour and a half or so duration of the movie I felt like I got to know Fred Rogers and really wish that I could have met him, and I came away from this movie as a fan of his and maybe even softened my opinion of Mr. Hanks just a tad.
The movie itself was based upon the Esquire article written by Tom Junod back in 1998, which saw he and Fred Rogers become friends during the many conversations between the two.
The twist and the meat of the story is that their friendship had a major life changing redemptive impact on Mr. Junod and his entire family. The story also highlights the fact that by virtue of the way Fred Rogers lived his life, he had that impact on just about everyone who was blessed to meet him, and without a doubt many of the lives of his countless fans were also impacted very positively by the simple life lessons he shared.
Fred Rogers was a very kind, decent man who was an ordained Presbyterian Minister and was among those ministers who actually walked the talk and allowed the Lord Jesus Christ to shine through him. Just like the Lord, he had a passion for children and he devoted his life to making the world a better place for them through education, love, patience, and kindness.
Interestingly, there have been long debunked rumors circulating for years that his persona was a cover for a non-existent military career which the rumors paint him as some sort of Rambo type killing machine. Nothing could be further from the truth and those rumors have been debunked by reputable sources including the US Military.
My friends, this is the must see movie of the year for all ages, and I believe that every church in America should form groups and bring families to see this excellent film about a really great man of God who lived and breathed his faith every day of his life. We at The Patriots Press give this movie Five “Won’t You Be My Neighbors”.
The movie opens for Thanksgiving week on November 22, 2019 and you should consider getting your tickets early.
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“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” Fred Rogers
Read more of David’s posts at The Patriots Press