In an unexplained act of charity, Jeanne Holman, picks up an injured, apparent tramp and takes him home to care for him little realising who he was or the effect he would have on her life and those of her family.
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When Jane Holman is driving with her two sons, Tom and Gunny, she accidentally runs into a drifter, named Jack McCloud, who breaks his leg. Feeling sorry for him, Jane invites Jack and his dog Betty Jane to stay at her home until his leg has healed. After having some difficulties to adapt to this new lifestyle, Jack soon finds himself loved by the family and they all want him to stay. When he starts teaching baseball to Tom, who misses his father who's missing in the Korean War, the two of them develop a strong bond. Meanwhile Gunny believes that there's more to Jack and Betty Jane than meets the eye, and he's determined to find out! Written by
Peter Huiskes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie is better than the rating suggests. Patrick Swayze displays some tremendous acting skills as the ever blue Jack McCloud, a tramp and thorough loner. He is sincere and pervasive, as is Joseph Mazzello as Tom. The evolving relationship between the two of them is one of the three major themes of the movie. It is a relationship propelled by Tom's dear wish to have some male person around he can relate to and rely on, as his father is apparently absent. Jack, who joins the family as a stranger, develops a kind of deep and caring commitment towards the three family members. He doesn't push for it, it just happens. The second theme focuses around M.E. Mastrantonio's brilliant performance as Jeanne Holman, Tom's and Gunny's mom. Her despair mingled with hope and confidence makes her the archetype of the single parent of the Mid-50s, the era which is so superbly revived as the movie's setting. The third theme centers around Gunny, Tom's little brother, his belief in magic and fairies as well as his fears. This is the movie's underlying main theme, as the title itself suggests. The end, which makes you feel good and renews faith in what we have and ought to preserve and care for, reveals the message of the title and grants this movie an inspiring and deeply human message. Magic is out there - in everything we do and everything we dream of. It is the little things, the little signs of love and affection, of hope and endurance. Tom himself, as an adult, receives reassurance in his faith and his values by what Jack has done to his family when he was a young boy. The message is brilliant and makes this movie a solid 8/10. "Be yourself", Jack advises Tom. "And be happy with what you have" he adds much later in the movie. Hope and love will endure against all odds, if we allow magic into our lives. The same magic we believed in as kids. It is still there. You just have to admit it.
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