This week’s family movie night suggestion is Front of the Class…
A Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Front of the Class takes viewers into the life of Brad Cohen, a real-life man with Tourette Syndrome. When Brad was six-years-old, he began to make strange sounds and have peculiar tics. His parents had no idea what was wrong with him and his father even blamed him for misbehaving and disobeying whenever he asked Brad to stop. His classmates ridiculed him and his teachers sent him to the principal’s office on a regular basis. Several times throughout the film, he was made to promise to “quit making those noises” – noises he had no control over. Attending movies and going to the library was out of the question because Brad’s unannounced sounds came at the least opportune moments.
Brad struggles to deal with his undiagnosed disorder, although he terms it as his “constant companion” as a way to deal with it. His upbeat attitude helps when few around him understand. After numerous trips to doctors and psychiatrists, Brad’s mom finally takes matters into her own hands and discovers there is a name for what her son struggles with – Tourette Syndrome. She can now find him the support he needs.
Later in life, Brad sets out to become a teacher – a lifelong dream of his. But who will hire someone who can’t control when they might make a strange sound or have strange tics and movements?
This is a touching movie, and many times throughout, I had to reach for a Kleenex. Brad’s mistreatment at the hands of ignorance (especially as a child) is hard to watch, especially as a mom. There are many great discussion topics in this movie including –
Treating others as you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12)
Loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)
Everyone is made precious in God’s site and no one is a mistake (Psalm 139:13-18)
God loves us, cares for us, and knows all about us (Matthew 10:30)
The heart is what is important (1 Samuel 16:7)
When I asked my oldest daughter what most impacted her in the movie, she said “to just be yourself.” That is true – Brad was himself and people slowly began to see that he was a kind, caring, and generous person who happened to be born with a disorder. While this is not at all a faith-based film, it is clear to see that the Lord used Brad’s difficulties with Tourette Syndrome to make a difference in the lives of others who struggled with other health-related issues.
This movie is based on a true story, and I would highly recommend this film, which contains nothing objectionable, for tweens and older (those younger than eight or nine may not understand the plot line). For more information about Tourette Syndrome, please see the Tourette Syndrome Association website.
For a listing of movie suggestions, followed by archived movie reviews, please see https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/mom-approved-movies-for-families/
Join me each week for a new movie suggestion of recommended movies suitable for the entire family with reviews written from a Christian worldview.
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