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Prayers for Bobby
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Reviews & Ratings for
Prayers for Bobby (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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57 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely wonderful; heartbreaking, and I recommend it for everyone

Author: Dragoneyed363 from United States
25 January 2009

To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to watching Prayers for Bobby at all. I had seen the previews for weeks and since it was a "Lifetime" original, I had low expectations and even made fun of it with my friends. All that changed when I saw how wonderful it actually turned out to be. Prayers for Bobby is an emotionally and physically tiring film that entertains from start to finish.

The movie is just so clever at times. While it is thin and bland too, it is brilliantly played out and executed in the sense that you actually care what's going on and what's going to happen to these characters. They keep you interested with problem after problem and therefore they don't have enough time to let you get bored. Sigourney Weaver plays an amazing role as well, and the movie is just so endearing that I really lose myself in it every time I watch it.

It was a truly spectacular film; one of the best "made for TV"s I have seen, and it was a splendid job well done for all the cast and crew. If you think you can enjoy, I suggest you see it right away.

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58 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Excellent, well-done movie that has you balling your eyes out

Author: J.T. Segal ( from Washington, DC
25 January 2009

The whole movie I was crying profusely. The cast was terrific. A must-see, especially for gay people and family of gay people. A gay youth is outcast by his mother and he struggles to accept his homosexuality. He eventually is able to leave his family for Portland, OR, but his mother's emotional/biblical abuse remains scarring his mind. I don't want to spoil what happens in Portland, but you will certainly find this a movie that makes you feel deeply for all the characters involved. I really felt connected to all the characters. This movie was certainly a movie that would be great to watch with someone you care for, as you will be crying the whole time. This movie points out the horrors of the religious Right, and criticizes the arguments against homosexuality.

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53 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

A movie for anyone who has felt misunderstood or alone.

Author: LauraHope007 from United States
28 January 2009

Have you ever felt like you did not fit in? Have you ever had your parents not accept something about you? If you think you can not get this movie or understand and you are straight, think again. I am straight, but this film reminded me of all the times in my life I did not feel wanted or as though I fit in. I've spent the last year of my life fighting for the one place on the planet I felt like I belonged, and the one industry I felt I fit into. Have you ever had to fight to be? Have you ever had to stand up for something you believe in? Have you ever thought you were right about a belief and then discovered how wrong you were? Have you ever judged someone by ignorant standards, only to realize you were wrong? Are you part of a minority that has been persecuted and degraded? If any of this applies to you, see this film. It is more than just a movie about homosexuality. It is a film about people, family, love, friendship, and understanding. And if you are someone who thinks that homosexuals are evil, I dare you to watch this film.

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55 out of 65 people found the following review useful:


Author: elven_avari from Kentucky, USA
24 January 2009

The truth can be heartbreaking. Mary Griffith realized this when her son Bobby jumped off of a freeway into oncoming traffic. I just finished watching this movie and I must say... this movie is beyond touching. The acting was fantastic and it's message was very inspiring. Prayers for Bobby shows the struggles that gay youth and their families can go through, whether that means failing or triumph. This movie not only touches on the issues of homosexuality but also on pushing religion to far on someone, suicide and coming to terms with who you are. Life isn't always made up of rainbows and butterflies and this movie expresses that without holding anything back.

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36 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Will it reach them?

Author: oaksong from deep in the heart of Texas
28 January 2009

It would be so wonderful if the people that this piece is about actually watched it and understood what kind of hell they're putting their kids in for no particularly good reason.

It should be required viewing in every Baptist church on the planet. And there are a few other evangelical organizations with strange ideas about human beings who might learn something.

I will be surprised if Sigourney Weaver doesn't get at least an Emmy nomination, particularly given the speech she gives to the city council, both well written and well delivered.

Ryan Kelly also delivers a believable performance as Bobby, regardless of some of the cutting required to get the film into a two hour programming window.

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30 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Required Viewing for All Parents

Author: jazzything from United States
21 March 2010

The movie went off five minutes ago and I'm still sobbing. This movie should be required viewing for every parent. Beyond the powerful subject matter, Prayers for Bobby is ultimately about loving and accepting your children for whoever they are. It's about nurturing their self-esteem, raising them to treat others with respect and praying that they go through life with love in their hearts. Bottom-line, it made me realize that I will always love my son unconditionally. He's four now. And if I'm blessed enough that we are both around when he's 14, 24 or 44, I will stand by and love him for whoever he is as he comes into his own and forever.

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28 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A Child Is Listening, Maybe Your Own

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
24 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The greatest thing about Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the cast members who played members of the Griffith family is that in making Prayers For Bobby they did not succumb to the temptation of making a caricature of their character. It's been done before, it would have been so easy, the religious right gives you so much material.

But the Griffith family Harry Czerny, Sigourney Weaver and their children aren't bad people. All they have done is sit back quite comfortably on the assurance of their faith that GLBT people are not quite normal, they are afflicted with some deadly mind disease that God does not approve of. And there a lot of people who will go to their graves thinking that, though the amount shrinks as time goes on.

You can have a lot of smug assumptions until the problem hits home with you. Which is what happens to the Griffith family when young Ryan Kelley as Bobby Griffith comes out to his brother who promptly rats him out to his mother. After that its the attempts to search for a cure or as writer Wayne Besen has so aptly put it, 'pray the gay away'.

I've known a lot of people who were survivors of such colossal ignorance as preached by the religious right. Here in my native Buffalo, I know one young man who moved here two years ago and he grew up in the Assemblies of God Church. It took him a long time to break free and realize his self worth, but his is a lot happier a story than what happens to Mary Griffith and her son.

Another man whom I had a relationship with back in New York when I lived there was a survivor of electroshock treatment. It was thought that would cure him by his parents who were from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was this or kick him out of the house and disown him which is what eventually happened. I'm sure they thought they were doing the best for their kid.

When I worked at Crime Victims Board I had a mugging case of a young kid in Central Park. But what had happened to him was that he had come out to his enlightened parents and they threw him out of the house. This was not a street smart kid, he lived on the upper east side of Manhattan and went to prep school. He was staying in Central Park that night and got mugged and I got the case from a shelter in New York. I know his plans were to go to a girl's house he knew where her parents were more accepting eventually. I never did find out if he made it.

I can tell you first hand that the Griffith experience is far from an isolated one. Gay/Lesbian/BiSexual/Transgender youth are far more at risk for suicide than their straight peers. But what makes the Griffith story unique is how they and especially Mary Griffith took a mind numbing tragedy and turned it into a position of advocacy for those who too often don't get it. That is the challenge that Sigourney Weaver in her performance shows that Mary Griffith and her family met and overcame.

Sigourney's final speech before her small town council advocating plans for a Gay Pride Day will move all of you. It might even cause some on the religious right to question their smug assumptions about us. That is my prayer for Bobby.

And this film review is dedicated to all of the case examples I knew from my professional and personal life and to one other. A young lady from Warsaw, New York who had the courage to break from her fundamentalist family and seek love and acceptance in a wider more tolerant place on this globe. I wish I had her guts when I was a teen.

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29 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Poignant and effective, leaves you emotionally lethargic but also hopeful

Author: tj19 from United States
24 January 2009

BASED ON A TRUE STORY I'm not much of a fan of the Lifetime network. They usually produce wishy-washy and cliché titles usually about divorce, or pregnancy issues, or something that really has no plot or substance. However, being a fan of Sigourney Weaver and her work, and also interested in the story that actually has an actual important theme, I debated whether it would be worth two hours of my time. It was. It is 1979. Bobby Griffith (Ryan Kelley) is a teen who has a loving family and a pretty good life. However, he believes himself to be a homosexual. He fears that his mother, Mary, (Weaver) will not accept him and love him anymore, due to her clear and well-known loath and contempt of gay and lesbians due to her faith and literal interpretation of the bible. When Bobby tells his brother he thinks he is gay, his brother tells their mother, hoping his mother can help Bobby. Instead, she treats Bobby as if he has a disease that can be "cured" through God. Mary's overbearing and abrasive treatment towards Bobby distances him from his family out to Oregon to live with his cousin, who believes anyone should be allowed to love anyone. While in Oregon, Bobby meets a guy who makes him feel good about himself. When Bobby comes back from his vacation, he tells his family about the guy he met and his mother reacts as if he is a perverse and sick person. She tells him she WILL NOT have a gay son. This upsets Bobby enough to permanently move to Oregon without a goodbye from his mother. While in Oregon, feeling the isolation of the family he loves, he becomes suicidal and cannot take it anymore. He commits suicide. For the rest of the film, we see his mother go through some major character development and we see her try to overcome her ignorance. I never cried during a movie before until I saw this movie. Prayers for Bobby was truly an amazing movie. Watching Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffith broke my heart. She was believable and perfect. Ryan Kelley also did a great job playing Bobby. He showed a lot of range and purity in his performance. The movie definitely has a made-for-TV and Lifetime channel feel to it. It WAS a made-for-TV Lifetime original movie, so get over that (I did). I am so glad I saw this and I urge anyone and everyone to see it. 9/10

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27 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Say Amen to Prayers for Bobby ***1/2

Author: edwagreen from United States
27 January 2009

Sigourney Weaver hits a home-run performance as a right-wing bible carrying nut who can't accept the fact that her younger son is gay.

She resorts to just about everything possible to get him to amend his ways. She sends him to therapy, constantly belittles him and uses the bible frequently to justify her disdain for his lifestyle.

A confused and bewildered young man, Bobby eventually commits suicide. The real tragedy here is to get his mother thinking that the condemnation of gays is really not the way to go.

The film is a very good one as it especially comes to grips with the church's condemnation of the gay life style and the use of the bible to distort this way of living.

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35 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Bible study

Author: lorcan9000 from United States
25 January 2009

I cried my eyes out, so maybe I shouldn't raise any objections, but... many things in this beautifully made movie were more simplistic than they needed to be.

The priest called Mary's attention to commands in the Bible she obviously wasn't taking literally in her life: we should stone disobedient children to death, we shouldn't eat shellfish. She then looks up these passages and tells the priest she has read them, and continues to raise questions about his reasoning. But earlier in the movie the family amuses itself with Bible quizzes -- I say a phrase, you tell me the book and chapter it's from. How could a woman who clearly knew the Bible better than she knew her own son not already have read Deuteronomy and Leviticus backwards, forwards, and inside out? For a self-convinced Christian like Mary, the contradictions between the passages in the Bible she liked and the ones she didn't like would have been explained away long before the events of this story.

Also, as another poster has said, the story didn't really lead us to understand why the boy did what he did. There's a hint that his boyfriend was seeing other guys, he got a really nasty birthday present from his mother, he was very lonely at the hospital where he worked, but -- the dots weren't really connected. It felt like a couple of scenes had been cut, with the effect that at the climactic moment I found myself asking "Wha'?" instead of feeling the horrible inevitability of it.

Why am I criticizing a movie that gave me the best cry I've had in months? Because movies on Lifetime, even the best ones, always pull back from the edge. There is always at least to some degree an ironed-out, homogenized, Canadian-locationized blandness to the storytelling (even though this one wasn't shot in Canada.) What if they let a movie actually be itself? What if they aimed for Sundance quality nuance, naturalism, emotion, unexpectedness in storytelling? The writing and direction on this movie were first-rate, for what it was (and Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley ripped my heart out)-- but I feel that both writer and director could have gone all the way with it and made it a MOVIE.

I wonder why they didn't.

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