Same Kind of Different as Me parents guide

Same Kind of Different as Me Parent Guide

Outward appearances can be deceiving.

Overall A-

When a white art dealer (Greg Kinnear) volunteers with his wife ( Renée Zellweger) at a charity soup kitchen, he meets a homeless black man (Djimon Hounsou) and discovers they may have more in common than either could have imagined.

Release date October 20, 2017

Violence B-
Sexual Content B+
Profanity B+
Substance Use C+

Why is Same Kind of Different as Me rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Same Kind of Different as Me PG-13 for thematic elements including some violence and language.

Run Time: 120 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) has a large home, a successful business as an art dealer, a beautiful family… and a mistress. He stands to lose everything when he confesses his affair to his wife Debbie (Renée Zellweger), but she surprises him. After sleeping on the problem, Debbie has a peculiar dream involving a poor wise man. When she awakens, she willingly forgives the other woman, and offers Ron his freedom or a chance to try to find what they once had.

Ron chooses to stay with his wife, who then leads him on a curious journey to rekindle their love. It starts at the Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, Texas where Debbie invites a reluctant Ron to join her as a volunteer in the soup kitchen. At first the wealthy man is more concerned about parking his Mercedes in the seedy neighborhood than he is about helping the hungry homeless. And his fears are only heightened when a vagrant wielding a baseball bat enters the building yelling death threats and smashing windows. After the situation cools, Debbie surprises him again. She tells her shaken husband that the stranger (Djimon Hounsou) is the man from her dream – and she wants Ron to go and make friends with him.

The unusual request marks the beginning of an even more unusual relationship. Both men are forced to work through distrust and prejudice. Yet as they learn to look beyond outward appearances, they also learn that the other is “the same kind of different as me”.

Based on a true story, this movie peels back the veneers of Ron and the street person (whose name turns out to be Denver). We discover past hurts and disappointments, which include alcoholism, loss of loved ones, physical abuse, criminal activity, and injustice. While these depictions are not graphic, they will likely still be unsettling for young viewers. Fortunately, the script contains little sexual content or profanities.

Although sentimental at times, this faith-based film does provide an inspiring look at dealing with dashed expectations and rising above preconceived notions. It shows how small acts of kindness can add up to large life changes. It reminds us that a poor person can be rich in wisdom, and a rich person can be poor in judgement. And it demonstrates how a sharing of perspectives can improve the way each of us see the world.

Directed by Michael Carney. Starring Renée Zellweger, Jon Voight, Djimon Hounsou, Greg Kinnear . Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release October 20, 2017. Updated

Same Kind of Different as Me
Rating & Content Info

Why is Same Kind of Different as Me rated PG-13? Same Kind of Different as Me is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements including some violence and language.

Violence: A man threatens others with a baseball bat and smashes property. Characters are grabbed and roughly treated. Theft is implied. Homeless people discuss the loss of family, employment and dignity. A house fire that claims a life is depicted. Parentless children are moved from home to home. A child is feared to have drowned during a baptism. Pictures of KKK members are shown, along with references to clan activity. A black man is noosed and dragged behind a horse. Racial and social class prejudice are portrayed. Armed robbery is depicted. Serious/terminal illness, bullying, abusive treatment, imprisonment and murder are discussed. Characters argue and yell. Characters shoot at targets with a gun.

Sexual Content: A couple refers to the lack of intimacy in their marriage, and an extra-marital affair is discussed. Mild sexual dialogue occurs. A husband is asked to sleep on the couch, and later is invited back into the bedroom. Male characters are seen in underwear or doing up their pants. Characters embrace and kiss.

Profanity: Mild profanities and crude slang terms are infrequently used. Name-calling and racial slurs are heard.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A character is portrayed as an alcoholic, and is often seen drinking and acting drunk. Addiction and substance abuse is implied for many homeless characters. Medications are given to characters suffering from illness.

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More parents' guide for Same Kind of Different as Me after the break...

Same Kind of Different as Me Parents' Guide

One of the woman at the mission confesses that she has “Done things I’m not proud of”. In return, Debbie replies “We all have.” How do you feel about her statement? Are some “sins” bigger than others? When it comes to feeling good about ourselves, does it matter whether our misdemeanors are big or small? How does shame affect many of the characters depicted here? How can guilt either motivate or cripple a person?

Ron’s Father (played by Jon Voight) criticizes those who, “Look for hand-outs instead of using their hands.” Is his attitude about the poor fair? What problems does he have in his own life that he’s willing to overlook while condemning others? How does Denver feel about charity? Why does he feel it is important for a man (or woman) not to feel invisible?

Many of the White characters are depicted as prejudiced against Blacks. In what ways are the Blacks also prejudiced against Whites? How does seeing differences lead to feelings of superiority or inferiority? How can we instead focus on those things that make people the same?

Denver claims, “God is in the recycling business—turning trash into treasure.” Do you sometimes feel like trash? What can you change to see yourself more like treasure?

News About "Same Kind of Different as Me"

This movie is based on the memoir of Ron Hall (the art dealer) and Denver Moore (the homeless man), published as The Same Kind of Different as Me.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The Soloist and The Blind Side also tell stories about how the lives of both givers and receivers are changed forever when opposites are brought together. Another man tries to make a difference in the world in Mully.