Mapelle Films' Trust Fund is a movie for those 12+ (or younger if viewed with the family) whose theme will seem familiar, although it is presented in a fresh new way. There is also a downloadable study guide to give more depth to the movie watching experience if you so desire. It has scriptures and questions that correspond to the different parts of the movie. The cinematographer/producer of Trust Fund, Isaac Alonghi, was homeschooled back when homeschooling just wasn't done (his parents started in 1982! I was seven years old!), and, as many homeschooling parents can attest, that flexibility and free time can really help when it comes to cultivating and pursuing life's passions. You can read more about Isaac in this article.
Trust Fund is the story of Reese Donahue, a young woman whose mother has, unbeknownst to her, left her and her sister a 10 million dollar inheritance. Her father, the owner of a profitable company, has never mentioned the inheritance. Reese hacks into the bank on her sister's computer, transfers her half of the inheritance to her own bank account, and takes her money to Italy to a man with whom she had previously engaged in a romantic relationship. When he runs into financial difficulties, she offers him money, and, well, does the story of the prodigal son sound familiar? This movie is a modern take on the age old story of the prodigal. Also, although I didn't review it, there is also a book, Love Was Near, which further explores the story behind the movie.
Now, don't make the mistake that I was tempted to make. This is *not* a homeschool movie. Yes, it's made by a homeschool graduate, and, yes, there is a Christian message, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable movie in its own right. Need more? It co-stars Willie Garson. That's Stanford Blatch! As in Carrie Bradshaw's best friend. If I'm speaking a foreign language right now, don't even worry about it, but if those names mean anything to you, I've just given you an independent reason to watch this movie (if you Google those names and feel the need to judge me, that's okay. I can take it. Ironically, I can no longer take the vapidity of that show, but I fell in love with shoes because of it.).
Back to our regularly scheduled review. If, like me, the story of the prodigal son troubles you, I encourage you to give this movie a try. See, as a parent, I have no trouble with the prodigal at all. I would welcome Reese back with wide open arms and no questions asked. Unconditional love, right? Just like Jesus. As a sibling, though? Oh, I feel Audrey (Reese's sister)! I have a prodigal brother. Now, he didn't spend the family fortune (there are six kids in my family - there is no fortune to spend), but he did consume quite a bit of resources, emotional and financial when we were kids and young adults. He was...a handful. He had his brushes with drugs, alcohol, and truancy. He put a strain on our family and he put a strain on me personally that I don't think I am over even now. As an adult, though, he is extremely successful both in his career and with his own family. I am so proud of him and I am so happy for him. I am happy and grateful that there are no rifts in our family - that my father doesn't hold any of his past against him and that they have a close relationship. But there is still something inside me that screams out - "But I did everything right! What about me? I never strayed from the right path. I never even stopped going to church! I've always been steady Betty, old reliable - why can't anyone see me?" Seeing a movie like this brings me back to Earth and reminds me that my Father always sees me; that I've never been forgotten.
I was originally going to watch this with Mary-Catherine (12), but she has been sick since we got back from Arkansas, so I ended up watching it alone. I'm glad I did. I'll watch it with her in the near future. I'm pretty sure she'll really enjoy it, and I'm pretty sure she'll recognize a bit of Audrey in her young self, too. I highly recommend this movie.