Making the Grades
Annie (Jordan-Claire Green) may only be twelve-years-old, but she's not about to let her parents spoil her summer vacation. Angry with their decision to have her spend the holidays with her grandfather (Paul Dooley) in his dilapidated cottage on Hilton Island, South Carolina, while they head off to peruse activities of their own, the rebellious New Yorker figures out how she can head back to the Big Apple on her own.
Unfortunately, her buoyant escape plans sink, and the runaway finds herself in hot water with her aging guardian. But instead of tattling, Granddad keeps her misdemeanor a secret even when interrogated by his daughter (Lea Thompson), Annie's overly protective mother. Grateful for his discretion, the once headstrong girl suddenly feels new respect for this gentle giant. Packing away her bad attitude, she settles into her new digs and begins to appreciate the elderly man's life experience and penchant for telling tall tales.
Annie's new outlook also opens her eyes to some of the other residents on the island, such as a lonely handyman with a secret (Gregg Russell), her grandfather's grumpy best friend (Martin Mull) and his cigarette-smoking, hip-hop-artist-wannabe granddaughter (Kristen Renton), a kind-hearted hairdresser (Sonya Eddy) and a cute boy that hangs out at the beach (Asher Book). As well, she begins to see some parallels between the strained relationships both she and her Grandpa share with her mom.
Although the story blossoms in a predictable way, the movie still has a bouquet full of worthwhile sentiment to offer. With only a few small thorns, such as truth stretching, driving infractions, and some spooky ghost stories, the flowery script focuses on the positive effects of acts of kindness, neighborly love, and serving others. As various characters learn to reach out and forgive, they find the sweet peace that can only be found when you Come Away Home.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Come Away Home.
Do you think Grandpa made the right choice when he decided not to tell Annie’s mom about her runaway attempt? Who else in the movie kept secrets? How does their lack of honesty affect their relationships?
How does Annie’s decision to clean up her grandfather’s house affect the way she feel about him? How do her acts of service make him feel about her?
Some of the local residents comment on the differences between small town and city kids. Why do they feel this way? Do you think your environment changes the way you respond to others?