The film’s characters are interesting enough and the plot (based heavily on Zach’s true story) is inspiring, with few noteworthy flaws. The dialogue at times is simplistic, and the transitions between major hurdles (such as starting a 501©(3) organization or finding a job) are sometimes glossed over with very little of the real-life mess and pain. The little boys are a little too perfect and well-behaved, and Kelley is a little too typical of the standard movie rebellious teen. But overall, nothing distracts too noticeably from the encouraging story and the compelling relationships.

What is good and beautiful about this film? It points to several important truths. If you’re reading this on a computer right now, you are blessed and richer than you know. Material wealth and even the humblest of possessions can be lost, destroyed, or stolen in a moment. Growing up without a father is a big deal, and hurts. Mothering children without a husband is a big deal, and hurts. Relationships are more important, and harder to maintain, than big, noble causes. The poor live among us. The poor will always live among us. We can do more to help them than we often do.

You’re never too small, or too young, to pull your weight and make a difference. Sometimes it’s only as heavy as pulling a little red wagon.

To find out more about Zach Bonner and his mission, visit The Little Red Wagon Foundation.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: A girl and her mother have a few screaming matches during which the daughter uses profanity (for which she is reprimanded)
  • Mature Themes: Homelessness, death, natural disasters, poverty, stealing and cancer are all dealt with. The relationship between a daughter and mother also deals with heavy-natured topics such as growing up in a single-parent home and troubling family dynamics.
  • Violence: A girl throws a bag across the room after a fight, breaking a few household objects. A woman yells at her daughter through a door and slams the door with her hand. A young boy falls down onto pavement and scrapes his arm very badly (blood is shown).
  • Religion/Morals: Family love and true charity is upheld, stealing, violence, and selfishness cast in a negative light, and the belief in something bigger than yourself is the main theme espoused throughout the film.

Debbie Wright is Assistant Editor for Family Content at Crosswalk. She lives in Glen Allen, Virginia and is an avid writer, reader, and participant in local community theatre.

Publication date: January 9, 2013