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Family Friendly Television: Review of Fox Network's Film 'Change of Plans'

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They have been listening to those of us who bemoan the lack of family friendly movies on TV!

Walmart and Proctor and Gamble present a series of family oriented films on FOX, which they have called "Family Movie Night" the second of which aired Saturday at 8. Any parent who is tired of their children viewing shows which glamorize career at the expense of family will be thrilled to find that the roles are reversed in "Change of Plans".

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By Leticia Velasquez
Catholic Media Review (
1/10/2011 (9 years ago)

Published in TV

Keywords: change of plans, fox, television, Phylicia Rashad, Brooke White

DALLAS, TX (Catholic Media Review) - Maybe you were able to catch the first film in this new project, "A Walk in My Shoes" about two women, a teacher and a waitress who are locked in conflict until by some mysterious reason, they switch lives. If so, you'll know that this is no ordinary film series.

Upbeat, and professional with well known stars and excellent scriptwriting, these films are excellent on many levels, and each carry messages we are delighted to see expressed in film; family matters, kids are the center of our lives as parents, sacrifice is demanded when you love, don't judge another until you walk in their shoes, and love can overcome suffering.

"Change of Plans" is the story of a yuppie couple who were not cut out to be parents, or so they thought. Sally Danville's life is what so many of us dream of; she is a stunning blond and hip rock musician, who, with her gorgeous fighter-pilot husband, Jason, live an enviable urban life with no children.They are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary scuba diving in Tahiti,  but fate has decided otherwise.
On the way to the door to the airport, Sally decides to answer a phone call from Child & Family Services case worker, Dorothy (Phylicia Rashad, The Cosby Show who is just as beautiful as ever!). Their lives head into a tailspin as Sally (Brooke White, American Idol) is met with the news that her best friend from college has died in a tragic accident on a Peace Corps mission and has named Sally the legal guardian of her four kids - 3 of them adopted from third-world countries.

 Sally and Jason (Joe Flanigan, Stargate Atlantis) decide to attempt to parent these children and become, for the first time, a family. Its only temporary, they reassure themselves, their hectic yet adsorbing careers tempt them too much to consider making sacrifices for children they have just met. They will ask Dorothy to search for a 'forever family' for the four kids, so they don't have to change their plans for long.

Yet something about this tight little family of four begins to open their hearts, and Sally and Jason find themselves getting involved in the challenge of helping the children adjust to life in the USA and mourn the loss of their parents. Soon, they find their priorities changing, and they find out that happiness is found in giving your life away to others.

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Will they be approved to be the kids' 'forever family' or will Javier's brushes with the law prove their first response correct, that they weren't cut out to be parents after all?

Although Sally and Jason's life is far from ordinary, it is hard not to find this loving couple appealing, as they struggle with their consciences, their successes and failures to connect with the children. The children themselves are absolutely captivating and are realistically portrayed in a rollercoaster of emotions upon losing their parents and being uprooted from Uganda, the pearl of Africa.

Humorous scenes of kids who can't resist the cool stuff Jason and Sally have in their home, and different definitions of 'football' help these children wind their way into your heart. I was ready to adopt them myself. Their unity as siblings was touching yet not overplayed (they had their conflicts) and they brought the idea of prayer and sharing around the family dinner table into the Danville's home. In fact, they took a place which was little more than an address and transformed it into a home.

Any parent who is tired of their children viewing shows which glamorize career at the expense of family will be thrilled to find that the roles are reversed in "Change of Plans". Those who, like me, have experienced international adoption will find the challenges that the children face both in school and at home familiar. The challenges of parenting are portrayed convincingly yet, in a stunning reversal, those who get the negative treatment are the divas of the music industry!

This engaging film will please your entire family from your children from the preschooler to young adult, thanks to cameos from American Idol judge Randy Jackson, whose film score is brilliant and NASCAR's Jeff Burton. Parents and teens might find some provocative discussions emerging from the film,  as Javier's (Bobby Soto) past as a street child in Guatemala, catches up with him, and Jordan (Jayme Lynn Evans) challenges Sally's role as mother. Your little children will adore the bright smile and heartbreaking emotion of Surissa Suwoko as the youngest child, Sung Lee and the smooth charm of musically gifted Kaleb (Jakoby Dempsey).

Music keeps this family drama upbeat and inspiring, while the message of hope and love will in this film will certainly beat the post-Christmas blues.

Load up on the popcorn, claim your spots on the sofa, crank up the surround sound, and start a new tradition; Fox family movie nights, with this outstanding film.

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Nothing in this film will offend families with children of any age. I give it my highest recommendation.

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