In 1936, William and Helen Hemsley (Brian Geraghty, Amanda Crew) welcome identical twin boys into the world. But their joy is quickly tempered by a sobering realization; how could they give these children any kind of a life beyond the desperate poverty that haunted many families in the midst of the Great Depression? When evangelist Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) reveals that he and his wife Louise (Ashley Judd) cannot have children, William feels the Lord's prompting to give them one of the infant boys. Both brothers are born with passion, drive and awesome musical talent, but take very separate, yet converging paths. Drexel Hemsley (Blake Rayne) rises like a comet and changes the music world forever. His adopted brother, Ryan Wade (also played by Blake Rayne) struggles to find the purpose for his life. All the way into manhood he wrestles with pleasing Reverend Wade, his loving but controlling father, who is convinced his son Ryan is called into the ministry. Ryan is encouraged by his ...Written by
Let me say, I don't mind schmaltz. I don't at all mind films with a message. But THE IDENTICAL was written by someone with no narrative skill, and the film's clichés are less bothersome than its total failure to make any use of its premise. It's hard to explain how badly the film stumbles in this regard without detailing the plot, but suffice to say I truly see no message that one could take away from it.
Yes, it's a film that details tangentially with faith, but the characters' religious values impact the story in no fundamental way. You could have made the "identical"'s father a lawyer for all the difference it actually makes. And the reference to the Six Day War is a total non sequitur.
But at film's end, no real lessons have been learned (even those who find themselves in the rather unlikely situation that the protagonist faces will find little of value here), no points have been made, and our time has been pretty thoroughly wasted.
I could talk about how bad the performances by Ray Liotta, Seth Green, and Joe Pantoliano are, or how Ashley Judd barely ages over 40+ years, or how the period detail is incredibly haphazard, or how creepy the serenade-courtship scene is, but I'll settle for saying this:
Calling this film inspirational because its characters are Christians is like calling The Wolf of Wall Street patriotic because its characters are Americans.
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