Kelly and Evelyn Ryan live in Defiance, Ohio with their 10 children. At first glance their life seems idyllic; they call each other "Mother" and "Father" and seem to dote on the kids. But Kelly was a garage-band crooner whose voice was ruined in an auto accident. He's resigned to a dead-end factory job that barely pays the bills, and is given to fits of alcohol-induced rage. Evelyn, a stay-at-home wife and mother, deals with this abuse by appealing to her priest, who is no help at all. She deals with their poverty by entering the jingle contests that were the rage in the 50's and early 60's, even sending in multiple entries in the names of the children. She is very clever at it, winning more than her share of prizes, but her successes aren't enough to keep the wolf from the door. Further, they trigger Kelly's insecurities and he retreats deeper into the bottle, using food and mortgage money to support the habit. Can the loving, optimistic Evelyn hold the family together? Is she ... Written by
In the grocery store scene, the bottom shelves behind Kelly are stocked with Ballreich's potato chips. These are made in Tiffin Ohio, nearly 70 miles east of Defiance. Ballreich's (pronounced ballright) started in Tiffin in 1920. See more »
On two occasions, the point is made that Defiance, Ohio and Payne, Ohio are 85 miles apart. They are actually about 29 miles apart. See more »
This is one of those films lost in the "tracking" gutter of film marketing. In other words, it was not registering with the public so it got a very small release, and a very small audience. This is a shame because it is a "thinking person's Cheaper by the Dozen". It is a very fine movie that leaves you teared up at the end without a contrived plot. It is a true story with real people and they have real faults-yet they bring out the great and wonderful joys of life found by a woman in what most would consider a terrible circumstance.
If you see one film on sheer recommendation this year, this is the film to see. I own a movie theatre in Kansas City and I am playing the film. We had 7 for the matinée that I sat in on one Saturday afternoon-I emailed my customers on Monday and implored them to see this wonderful film. The next Saturday I had 116 for the matinée! It goes on and on and I hope that it will be one of those undiscovered gems for many people this year.
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