Making the Grades
Many kids likely don’t have a clue about what their fathers really do at work. All that Sarah and Kevin Miller (Skyler Day, Drew Koles) know is that their dad Simon (Loren Dean) is rarely home. As a geologist he continually travels to the field to deal with oil spills, gas leaks and other environmental disasters. Or at least that is what they think he does.
But after their dad supposedly heads to Virginia to deal with another crisis, the teens and their mom Meredith (Robyn Lively) begin to worry when he doesn’t return any of their phone calls. And Simon’s secretary doesn’t ease their fears with her evasive answers to their queries.
Rifling through Simon’s home office, Meredith stumbles upon a slip of paper with an address. When she and the children check it out, they discover all kinds of paraphernalia (along with a stack of foreign passports with Simon’s picture and various names) that would suggest their husband and father is not a geologist but a secret agent. Then the family receives a short, cryptic call from Simon, warning them to stay together and trust no one. Immediately they disregard his plea to stay home and pack for an overseas journey to find the missing agent.
There’s a reason why only one day a year is dedicated as "Take Your Kids to Work Day." Most jobs are just too hard to accomplish with the offspring along. And spy work is one that may be particularly difficult. However Sarah’s second language skills and Kevin’s aptitude for code breaking come in handy as Simon ferrets out his secret organization’s mole and retrieves a highly skilled scientist (Alexander Gorchkov) and his daughter (Katia Gorshkova).
Much like the Spy Kids movies, the adolescents save the day in this story. When Meredith breaks down emotionally in a quiet Paris alley, Sarah and Kevin offer reassurance and encouragement. Yet despite the kids-know-best plot, this action-packed made-for-TV-movie still has plenty of heartwarming family moments for older children who can handle the suspense, along with some weapon action and brief hand-to-hand violence. And though they are anything but subtle, the lessons on trust, love and family unity in Who Is Simon Miller? aren’t ones that most parents will disagree with—making this Family Movie Night production an entertaining option for at home viewing.
This movie premiers on NBC television, August 6, 2011 at 8/7 PM Central Standard Time.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Who Is Simon Miller?.
Why does Simon keep his identity secret? What threats does his job pose to his family? Is Simon’s wife and children justified in their feelings of betrayal?
What secret agent gadgets does Simon have? Is the life of a spy as glamorous as it appears to be in this movie? What other jobs require parents to be away from home for extended periods of time? What difficulty does that present for their families?