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The Ultimate Gift 2007

Reviewing: 20th Century Fox Dvd  |  Rating:
rancosto By rancosto on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 8 | Movies & Documentaries Expertise:
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This overlooked gem of a movie begins with Red Stevens (James Garner), an old billionaire, dying and his relatives gathering for the funeral and hearing of the will. They are all wealthy, and they all want more - maybe except Jason (Drew Fuller), Red's grandson, who is not expecting much because his relationship with his grandfather was not a good one; in fact, they hadn't communicated for years. However, as the will is read, each of the relatives gets only an insignificant (in their eyes) portion of the inheritance; the bulk of the estate is left untouched - and Jason is the only one whose name still hasn't been mentioned. When it is Jason's turn to hear the will, other relatives are asked to leave (much to their displeasure). The young man learns that his grandfather has left him - no, not everything. Something. Some kind of a gift. In order to claim it, Jason must complete a set of assignments, each one explained in a video session his grandfather had recorded m shortly before his death. He cannot watch all the sessions at once, and he will not know beforehand what the next step will be. Only when one step is successfully completed, he can proceed to the next. And if he fails one, he loses it all.

At first Jason is so annoyed that he just leaves. Then curiosity brings him back. It turns out that his grandfather has done some elaborate planning and preparations. The assignments include hard physical labor, living without money, and making a true friend without anything but yourself to attract them.

This movie has it all: good story, good message, good humor. It has some difficult and painful scenes as well, so I would not call it a comedy. I sat glued to the screen, wondering what else Jason's dead grandfather has got in store for him - and watching Jason's character change. Emily, an outgoing young girl fighting cancer whom Jason befriends, stole my heart. Brian Dennehy's brief appearance as Gus was also a pleasure.

The movie can be safely watched with children, it has no profanity, nudity, or any other junk Hollywood stuffs most of their films with.