16 user 7 critic

Forgiving the Franklins (2006)

A conservative, God fearing Southern family is spiritually changed by an auto accident, but who they become puts them at odds with the highly conservative values around them.


Jay Floyd


Jay Floyd

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Willis ... Betty Franklin
Robertson Dean ... Frank Franklin
Aviva Baumann ... Caroline Franklin (as Aviva)
Vince Pavia ... Brian Franklin
Mari C. Blackwell ... Peggy Lester
Pop DaSilva Pop DaSilva ... Jesus Christ
Zak Spears ... Coach Caldwell (as Khris Scaramanga)
Andy Forrest ... The Pastor
Doug Purdy ... Junior Law Partner
Bob Savage Bob Savage ... Senior Law Partner
Terry Leftgoff Terry Leftgoff ... Bert Lester
Erica Woodson Erica Woodson ... Station Attendant
Kimberly Price ... Christian Parent's Association Leader
Tracy Berna Tracy Berna ... Christian Women's Group member
Suzanne Brown Suzanne Brown ... Christian Parent's Association Woman


The Franklins are Bible belt Christians: Frank's a lawyer, Betty's a homemaker focused on her children and her church, Brian is a senior who plays football, his younger sister Caroline is a cheerleader who thinks she's fat, prays often, and is impatient with God. When the family is in a car crash, all but Caroline are in a coma during which they see Jesus who removes their inhibitions and their piety. Awake and refreshed, Frank, Betty, and Brian discover their sexuality, their independence from Sunday worship and formal prayer, and the ability to talk frankly. Caroline - and her godmother, Betty's best friend, Peggy - are horrified. Can Caroline be saved, and the Franklins forgiven? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They know not what they've done. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including a scene of aberrant intimacy, graphic nudity, frank dialogue and some language


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

25 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was made without a film crew, as evidenced by the end credits. See more »


Caroline Franklin: [praying] Dear God, please give me the strength to be the servant that you want me to be, to be the beacon of light that you want representing you on this planet. Do you really want me to make a fool of myself? Is that who you want carrying your message, a fool? Well, is it? Just let me know what you want of me and I'll do it! Can you hear me, you asshole? I'm sorry, God. I'm sorry and I'm a little hungry. Show me, God, show me what to do and I'll do it, okay?
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References The Sopranos (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

This film has stayed with me
13 March 2006 | by NJtoTXSee all my reviews

As I've hopped from film to film at the SXSW Film Festival, this film from the opening night has stayed with me. Curious, because it is a dark comedy with quite an absurdist premise.

A family of hyper-stressed fundamentalists in a small community of like minds is changed by an auto accident. Three of the four have the same near-death experience in which they are fully opened, as each receives a reversal of the concept of original sin (I won't spoil this scene with the specifics). The fourth, a middle school cheerleader, is not just the only one physically hurt, but also is unchanged and is now witness to what has become her crazy, apparently spiritually bankrupt, family. Every new moment brings a new outrageousness as they have become innocently naked and frank in every way, horrifying her and then the community.

Forgiving the Franklins has the most beautiful sexual awaking scene between a husband and wife that I have ever seen, to the Sarah Brightman song "Deliver Me," a song that can now bring tears to my eyes.

The cast is terrific. Robertson Dean as the dad, Vince Pavia as the son and Aviva as the cheerleader daughter are excellent, Mari Blackwell plays Peggy, the mom's questioning neighbor and best friend perfectly, a much more nuanced, fleshed out, real character than what might have been (everyone in middle America knows a Peggy). And Theresa Willis positively glows as Betty, the mom. There are lots of risks taken by the actors playing the three changed characters, and these risks pay off.

I hope this film gets a wide release - if so, I plan to see it again.

Very accurate review at: http://www.fosteronfilm.com/phil/forgiving.htm

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