I have to admit that I have difficulties in saying the name of this movie. Couldn’t even remember the name as I stood at the ticket counter, but with a little help from the attendant I was on my way.
“Same Kind Of Different Me,” is a good family movie. It is the kind of film that brings out the beautiful lessons of what life is really about. That is, serving others that we perceive as less fortunate than us and putting a smile on their faces, or having them question your motive.
Based on a true story, “Same Kind Of A Different Me,” is narrated by Greg Kinnear as Ron Hall, an art dealer whose marriage to Deborah Hall (Rene’e Zellweger) is on the brink of failure after he cheated on her. As part of her healing process, she volunteers her service to an homeless shelter serving meals and dishing out kindness to those who show up for meals. She brings her husband to shelter to help out. Against his will, he feeds the homeless. Enters Djimon Hounsou playing the role of Denver, who also goes by “Suicide,” as he smashes the glass in the building upset because someone stole something from him. Deborah Hall pushes her husband to befriend Denver and we watch the conflict as both men tries to figure out each others motive. We learn the source of Denver’s anger in the process. The actors all give a strong performance, but Djimon Hounsou is a stand out in his performance.
Director Michael Carney takes us on a journey of how many sees the homeless and show us the difficulties in communicating with the homeless or even trying to be friendly with them. Denver is presented as a character to fear as he reveals to the Halls’ his history with racism, and the errors he made in his life that led him to incarceration. One has to wonder why Denver is special to Deborah Hall, after she claims that she saw him in a dream. We see the changes Denver goes through as the Halls’ try to fit him into their circles.
We also get to see the struggles Ron Hall has in his relationship with his dad played by Jon Voight, who is an alcoholic and has no patience for his son’s affiliation with the homeless. He brings it to his son’s attention that they people need to work for themselves and points out that many of them are not mentally stable.
“Same Kind Of Different Me” uses some references to the bible, but it is not preachy. It is intense at times, but never holds you to the point of tears. This is not a unique story, but it is a worthy story to tell. The theme of the story is about abandonment and the fear of abandonment. In one of his first conversations with Ron Hall, we hear Denver expressed that fear as he says that when White folks go fishing, they catch and release, but when Black folks fish they catch and share their catch with others in he community. Whether that is true or not, it becomes the theme of the movie. It explains why Denver at the shelter demands two plates of food. We see flashbacks of scenes in his childhood where Denver experiences abandonment.
There is a funny scene where Denver is caught playing with his White friend and his White friend’s mom chases Denver out of the house not giving him time to remove the KKK outfit that they were playing with.
“Same Kind Of Love,”is predictable and at least 20 minutes too long as the producer tries to mend broken relationships. However, it was a good movie to sit back and relax with family members to a film that tugs at the human spirit and beckons us to do more in making the world a better place for all. I give it 4 Stars out of 5.