Day 06 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

Favorite Made For Television Movie

I am six days into the 30 Day Movie Challenge and I have remained faithful. But today presents a couple of obstacles. First, it is Wednesday and this is the one day a week that I take my kids to school. I choose Wednesday because that is Chapel day and I can sit with them as they sing and dance. It reminds me of an opening rally at VBS. I am writing this as I wait for chapel to begin, but this will delay me from my blogging time until about 10am. Add to that the very obscure topic for today, and it really does present a challenge.

I don’t recall ever purposefully watching a made for TV movie. I might have stumbled across one and watched a few minutes, I remember my mom and dad planning to watch and recording Hallmark movies when I was in High School, but I never found those sappy melodramas entertaining. Doing some searches for what others have said, I came across several that I had never seen but have now added to my want to watch list. I Know My Name is Steven was one that looked interesting, also Brian’s Song, Sybil, The Day After, RKO 281 – The Battle Over Citizen Kane, & The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

Last week when I posted this challenge and began looking down the list and making my picks, I saw this one and drew a complete blank. So I began to ask the people that I work and go to church with, and I wasn’t the only one who drew a blank, but one of them had a suggestion and I found it on some other people’s list. This piqued my interest enough to find a copy and watch it. It’s called Door to Door, it was a TV movie from 2002 that aired on TNT. It was nominated for 23 awards, including 2 Golden Globes, and won 13 (including 6 Emmys). William H. Macy is Bill Porter in this inspirational story about a man afflicted with Cerebral Palsy who manages to become a successful door-to-door salesman with a career spanning four decades: from 1955 when he gets his first shot at being a salesman for the Watkins company to 1997 when the door–to-door division is all but dissolved. Macy nails the role with absolute brilliance, and Helen Mirren is stunning as his supportive then ailing mother, and to top it off, we get a young Kyra Sedgwick playing the bright-eyed Mormon college student who helps Bill with his business and becomes his friend.

Unfortunately, Door to Door is so coated with saccharine sweetness that it almost seems like a project that may have been intended for Lifetime. The story-lines involving Porter’s customers and how their lives were changed by him are certainly inspiring, but one must also wonder if they actually did happen. I was most intrigued by the story-line involving the gay couple and an obvious insinuation that one of their friends might have been afflicted with the AIDS virus. This was never resolved and seemed a little misplaced. Also, what is probably the films most quotable line, “God created us all, Shelly. He doesn’t make mistakes,” is in relation to this couple. The fact that this little bit of tolerance propaganda was tagged on kept this from being a really great film. But it doesn’t keep Door to Door from being a really an inspirational story that I still recommended for those who are sick movies about things getting blown up or people getting peppered with bullets.

Do you have any favorite made for TV movies. If so, please leave your recommendations in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Day 06 – 30 Day Movie Challenge”

  1. I vaguely remember seeing a few scenes from this movie — I think my dad watched it and liked it.
    My own favorite made-for-TV movie is the 1995 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring (of all people) Italian-American Armand Assante as the Scottish Highlander Alan Breck Stewart! But it works, and brilliantly so. The writing is top-notch, as are the performances. The movie takes its time to do things right. It’s got great old-fashioned adventure with real characters talking about real moral issues, and displaying true honor and chivalry of a kind not often respected today.

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