Love thy Neighbor— A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Love thy Neighbor— A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood December 3, 2019

The new Tom Hanks movie may not be what you are expecting, but it’s so Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers was all about other people, not himself, about loving other people as they are and helping them become their best selves, and in particular helping children learn how to be kind, gentle, compassionate, loving, forgiving human beings. This movie, which is over too quickly (less than two hours) focuses on a relationship Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a pacifist, had with a cynical journalist, who’s real name is Tom Junod. Tom worked for Esquire Magazine and was asked to do an article about America’s Heroes, in this case Mr. Rogers. He went into the process thinking Mr. Rogers must be a phony, must have some agenda, must be someone Fred Rogers plays, rather than who he actually was. In due course he finds out otherwise, and in due course Mr. Rogers becomes his friend and counselor who helps him listen to the better angels of his nature. In a time of great cynicism, this is a good and hopeful movie, and I would commend it to everyone, especially those who are feeling cynical about our society, and life during this holiday season. It will do you good to go. This movie is actually more about Mr. Rogers’ effect on that journalist and his family than it is about Mr. Rogers himself and his TV show. My wife and I loved this, and hope Hanks gets an Oscar for this performance, but more important I believe this movie will lift your spirits— highly recommended for the whole family.

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