Making the Grades
Many of us have fallen into the trap of covering up something in an attempt to protect or please someone else. It's not really a lie, but we haven't been completely honest with the facts either. And the more we try to make things better, the deeper in trouble we fall.
Such is the case for Joe Nast (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is left putting the pieces of his life together after his fiancee is murdered. Living with his future in-laws Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and JoJo Floss (Susan Sarandon), he tries his best to be the man he thinks they would want their only child to have married, even to the point of falling into the role of substitute son.
The Floss's reciprocate the young man's desire to continue a relationship, and the grieving father naturally assumes Joe will still accept the offer to join him as a partner in his small commercial real estate firm. As well, the couple and their lawyer are counting on the former groom-to-be to provide fervent testimony regarding his inconsolable loss at the upcoming trial.
But Joe's life is more complicated than it appears. Not only has he inadvertently caught the attention of Bertie Knox (Ellen Pompeo), the attractive postmistress who helped him retrieve the recently mailed wedding invitations, there is also one other little issue he cannot bring himself to confess to Ben and JoJo.
An excellent exploration into the innate need most of us have to please others, Moonlight Mile is illuminated by an exceptionally crafted script that juggles the repercussions of the untimely death of a daughter with moments of natural comedy. Add some tight editing, creative pictures that tell the story without words, and a pleasing musical score and you've got a film that should be able to entertain as well as teach some valuable lessons.
Unfortunately the nearly 100 uses of profanity in this film (including three sexual expletives --usually only one is permitted in a PG-13 film), along with sexual situations outside of marriage, and characters depending on tobacco to relieve stress, may make this Moonlight Mile a far stretch from family viewing.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Moonlight Mile.
If you were Ben, when would you have chosen to reveal the whole truth? Have you ever been in a similar situation and wished you had done things differently? Are we ever justified in hiding facts in order to protect the people we love?