After his parents die in a car accident, 12-year-old Bobby Graham dreams of becoming a soap-box-derby champion, but his aunt and uncle aren't supportive. Bobby sneaks away to befriend the town recluse---Jim Klecan. Together they design and create a victory-worthy car. But when Uncle Jeff discovers their plan, will he let Bobby race? Dove approved. 85 minutes.
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The movie opens with Bobby Graham traveling to his Aunt Gayle and Uncle Jeff’s small-town home in 1976. His parents have died and he’s reeling from the loss. To compound the pain, Bobby’s dad and his Uncle Jeff, who are brothers, haven’t spoken in years and Uncle Jeff inadvertently allows the animosity to trickle down to Bobby.
Uncle Jeff warns Bobby not to have anything to do with the reclusive, strange, and potentially dangerous Vietnam Vet Jim Klecan (played by John Schneider). All is fine until Bobby wants to build the soapbox derby racing car he and his late father had planned to build before his father’s death and enter it in the local contest. It is then that Bobby discovers that reclusive Jim Klecan was a national soapbox derby winner. Can Bobby convince Jim to help him build his own soapbox derby car? Will Jim allow someone into his life? What will Aunt Gayle and Uncle Jim do when they discover that Bobby has been lying about his whereabouts after school? Bobby isn’t at softball practice, but instead is building a soapbox – something Uncle Jeff views as a waste of time.
This is an enjoyable movie with no objectionable material. There is a lesson to be learned about lying, however it’s not specifically stated how important it is to always be truthful. Many good points abound – loyalty, not judging others, grace, and second chances. I highly recommend this movie for entire families (ages five and up).
I’ve been impressed recently by the movies that “Faith & Family Films” has produced, including You’ve Got a Friend in Me. Join me next week when I review another of their recent movies – The Woodcarver.
I've added this movie to my Mom Approved Movie Listing on my blog.
So my wife wanted me to rent some movies at Family Video recently. I was looking around for a specific film she requested, when I discovered they had a few Christian based titles available for rent. Every single one except You've Got a Friend were taken, and I was thinking to myself "Hey I remember seeing an ad for this online, maybe I should watch it before actually purchasing it." So I decided to rent this, because it's a newer film and interestingly enough it has to do with Soap Box Derby Racing. Wait... Soap Box Derby Racing? That seems familiar... Didn't I recently review a movie which involved Soap Box Derby Racing?
You've Got a Friend concerns a boy named Bobby Graham whose parents recently died; he is now staying with his Aunt and Uncle. Bobby isn't fitting in well with his new family or his school itself at first, and is uncertain of how to move on... At least until he starts hearing rumors of a supposed, crazy Vietnam Veteran. The rumors alone spark an interest in Bobby meeting this stranger, but what intrigues him even more is when he also learns this same person was once a Soap Box Derby Racing Champion. Bobby wanted to build his own car and race with his Dad, but with his Dad no longer present he is unsure what to do other than seek this stranger's help. What does Bobby need to know in order to become a successful racer? Will he even be allowed to race despite Bobby's Uncle forbidding him from pursuing this "useless" hobby...? I like much of the acting from actors like John Schneider as well the girl who played Sharona from the TV Show Monk, and I also thought the theological messages were nice too. However, this movie's script reminds me ALOT like 25 Hill...
Here are the following similarities I noticed between 25 Hill and You've Got a Friend: 1) Both main characters are grade school boys who have blonde hair. 2) Both boys have recently deceased fathers who were going to help them build/race a Soap Box Derby Car. 3) Both boys seek out mentors who were previous Derby Champions. 4) Both mentors are disgruntled about something; Corbin Bernsen's more convincing though. 5) Both mentors are reluctant to take them on as pupils at first, but are convinced after they see the boys are very serious about the sport. 6) Both boys have seemingly unbeatable rivals; Trey's is more legitimate though. 7) Both make it to the finals. 8) Both Boys count on their mothers for support when not involved with their mentors; Bobby's Aunt who is his new mother is slightly more helpful than Trey's. There is at least one more I could name, but I'd risk releasing a spoiler element and besides you get the picture... These obvious similarities are worth docking points for alone... Besides those points, I felt Bobby's rival's Dad was exaggeratively evil, the story ended too well, 25 Hill touches on deeper theological messages, and the title name itself just doesn't seem to fit to me. If you're unable to watch 25 Hill feel free to check this out because it is a decent film don't get me wrong, but I won't be buying it. I would recommend if you had a choice between buying 25 Hill or You've Got a Friend that you buy 25 Hill instead because it is the better movie between the two.