When this family movie night comes around, we can most assuredly be guaranteed a nights worth of wholesome entertainment. Who is Simon Miller? is a little bit of a departure from normal for the time slot, it’s nevertheless, good, clean fun. This is the seventh in a string of productions P&G and Wal-Mart sponsor, and proves yet again that when it comes to a story with moral decisions, the entertainment is better
Who is Simon Miller? (2011) WalMart TV Film Review
The Miller family is just your average, typical all-American family. They live in a pretty house where two siblings enjoy the comfort of a two-parent home, attend school and weekends with friends. Mom Meredith (Robyn Lively) is a small business owner who spends any free time as a devoted mother; and dad Simon (Loren Dean) is a mild-mannered geologist. It’s during the stretches of time when Simon’s work frequently takes him away from home that the family starts to fall apart.
Honor student Sara (Skyler Day) is accused of cheating on her math test and mom attempts to figure out the situation without burdening Simon. One night when Simon doesn’t come home, the family is concerned at the mysterious circumstances surrounding his absence. Frantically, Kevin (Drew Koles), Sara and their mother search his office and discover multiple passports with Simon’s photos on all but each have a different identity… who is their father? …what secrets has he kept from them?
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If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to many big Hollywood blockbusters, only in this version, things are much tamer. It kind of surprises me that the movie does hold its own; it’s exciting without the expectation that a favorite character is about to breath their last. During the movie’s attempts to be “normal,” to weave family issues into the script, the futile attempts to form normalcy in an otherwise hostel environment is ironic. Still, the movie does a really good job at finding alternate ways of being suspenseful. There’s some car and foot chases through the streets of Paris and the filming is, as always, decent.
Writers attempts to address more “serious” topics don’t flow well because of how directors set up the shots, where and when they take place. To think that someone who is running for their life would pause and address family issues is highly unlikely. I also can recognize that this is just entertainment. Some of the subjects are petty and even though trust is a serious topic, it seems a little over-played here. As a side note, once again, no one should have many complaints in terms of content. If you’re not into the latest, more intense Johnny Depp or Matt Damon films, this is an interesting alternative. The actors play their roles well although Dean is perhaps more suited to playing the dad “part” than a man with a secret.