I confess I’ve yet to see the movie, but in a way, I’m glad I read the script first. There are a lot of grace notes, small bits of business, setups and payoffs and the like, which I trust will be in the movie. I’ll be looking for them.

“The hero needs to change, they’re just making do.” That is what Joseph Campbell said about the Hero’s Journey, where the Hero begins their journey. Lloyd may not seem like the hero type, yet he does go on a journey which requires him to confront significant psychological dynamics, issues, and associations which he has struggled to deny and repress for years. That takes a kind of courage which — fortunately for Lloyd — Mr. Rogers engenders into life.

I look forward to seeing how the real world and Mr. Rogers neighborhood, the blending of the two, how that plays on screen. That’s a whimsical and lovely way of using cinema to convey story visually.

I was reminded a few movies as I read the script: Big Fish because of the son’s negative feelings toward his father. A little known 1986 movie called Nothing In Common which ironically starred a young Tom Hanks. IMDb plot summary: “A highly successful advertising executive decides to put his job on hold after getting an update from his father that he and his wife are divorced and decides to extend his break after revealing that his father is a diabetic.” Basically a son-father story. I was also reminded of The End of the Tour because of the reporter on an extended Q&A with the subject of an article, in this case novelist David Foster Wallace.

Father-son dynamic. Impending death. Newborn son. Marriage issues. Anger masking pain. Forgiveness. This story hits a lot of big ticket items adults deal with. I look forward to seeing where our discussion takes us this week.

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