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34 user 10 critic

Smile (2005)

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High school student Katie signs up for a trip to China, where she meets Lin, who has a facial deformity that discourages her from ever showing her face, but her friendship with Katie helps her start to see life in a new way.

Director:

Jeffrey Kramer (as Jeff Kramer)

Writer:

Jeffrey Kramer (as Jeff Kramer)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mika Boorem ... Katie
Luoyong Wang ... Daniel
Yi Ding ... Lin
Beau Bridges ... Steven
Linda Hamilton ... Bridgette
Cheri Oteri ... Linda
Sean Astin ... Mr. Matthews
Shuai Chi Shuai Chi ... Calvin
Jonathon Trent ... Ted
Erik von Detten ... Chris
Jia Song Jia Song ... Daniel's Wife
Essie Shure Essie Shure ... Brittany
Susan Chuang ... Ticket Agent
Yaojun Feng Yaojun Feng ... Conductor
Hua Zhu Hua Zhu ... James
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Storyline

Katie, a teenage girl from Malibu, California, finds herself in the throes of growing up, facing her parents, her boyfriends, her sexuality and a very privileged life. Half a world away in rural, China, Lin, born on the same day as Katie, faces a much different reality. Because of a severe facial deformity, she lives a life of fear and shame. Her father, Daniel, has devoted his life to her, with hopes and dreams that her circumstances will change one day. The opportunity comes with the discovery of the worldwide "Doctor's Gift" program. Katie volunteers and comes to China. Once there, she is deeply touched by the work, which prompts her to take off on her own to find Lin. A "smile" is brought to Lin's face, Katie finds her soul and their extraordinary connection becomes a life-changing experience for both girls. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A single choice... An incredible journey... And a selfless act... Will unite them and become a life-changing experience they will remember forever. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature content involving teen sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | China

Language:

English | Mandarin | Spanish

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Força de um Sorriso See more »

Filming Locations:

Jingxi, China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Cowboy and the Senorita (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Vanishing Romance
Written by Joe Lervold (as Joel Evans)
Performed by Carla Helmbrecht and Joe Lervold (as Joel Evans)
Published by Mopsy Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters
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User Reviews

 
A Worthy Little Message Story Stretched to the Limits
12 October 2005 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

SMILE is one of those Op-Ed moments on CNN that can be told with poignant dignity in 10 - 15 minutes and make a significant impact. The trouble with SMILE, the motion picture, is that it stretches this idea into 107 padded minutes, incorporating far more sitcom TV dialog about wealthy families with strident children looking for ways to escape uninspiring parental role models with teenage sex life and outside causes. It takes so long for this movie to get going that it loses the viewer.

The strong elements lie in the concept of the parallel of two girls born on the same day, one to the wealthy Malibu family with everything but concord, an the other left as an unwanted deserted orphan because of a facial deformity, salvaged by a caring worker who raises her as his own. The stories run parallel through the teen years when the Western girl seeks meaning to life by joining a humanitarian medical group whose efforts are directed toward offering the Eastern girl a chance at a normal appearance. The comparison of the lives of the two girls and their disparate families is tender and meaningful and that alone is worth the effort to tell this tale.

The actors are very good for the most part - Sean Astin in his most mature role to date, Mika Boorem as the Western girl and Yi Ding as the Eastern girl, and Beau Bridges and Luoyong Wang as the apposing fathers, Linda Hamilton as a rather tiresome mother, and some good young actors in supporting parts. The cinematography in China is very lovely but there is little tie in with the California counterpart. Jeffrey Kramer directs with less hold on pacing than on commitment to a worthwhile tale begging for brevity. Grady Harp


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