Jack Lemmon portrays a father searching for his son, whom he think has fallen in with a group of naive liberal thinkers. By the end of the movie, Lemmon's character realizes he had fallen in with a group of naive conservative thinkers. This movie portrays the odyssey of the father searching for a missing son in an unstable foreign country. He believes in the powers of the American embassy to protect all Americans. He believes everyone who keeps his nose clean is left alone. He believes in the power of the American people. The movie allows us to feel with him with its careful directing, and to feel for the other characters close to him and his son. We don't choose sides in the movie. We just hold back the tears, knowing that sadness looms, and obviously the father knows sadness looms, too. The religious beliefs, occupation, and history of the father are played down and unimportant. We are left to realize how unimportant it all is when looking for a loved one whom we feel is not in good fortune. A lot of movies claim to change a character in their film, but they're always left to resort to extreme exposition, usually even making the character proclaim that he or she has changed, and more often than not it isn't believable. This movie makes you believe. It is the best example ever of a character making a change throughout a movie.