The final episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired in 2001, so while some viewers of the film may never have watched an episode of the TV show, Mister Rogers’ cultural impact remains lasting and relevant. The format of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood helped make it an accessible television show. Every episode began with Mister Rogers entering his house through his door and then singing the theme song, “Won’t You be my Neighbor?” He introduced the topic for the day with a short discussion, followed the trolley to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and finally returned to reality for a reassuring talk and the closing song “It’s such a Good Feeling.” The movie follows a similar pattern.
Written like an episode of Mister Rogers for adults, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD follows cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) as he profiles the beloved television host. Lloyd is struggling in his personal life as he acclimates to being a new father. His own relationship with his father is strained at best. This is a film about forgiveness, fatherhood, and family. The show and the film are built around the idea that all people deserve love, respect, and to be heard.
In the film, Mister Rogers says to Lloyd, “Anything human is mentionable, and anything mentionable is manageable.” He helps Lloyd process his own emotions and articulate the “mad” that he feels. And Lloyd is not the same person after encountering this man of faith. His life is changed forever.
Being a parent is a high calling, but Mister Rogers’ advice resounds with wisdom: remember your own childhood.
Perhaps for you, that means remembering Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: the red sweater, Daniel Tiger, and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Perhaps it means telling your children, “There’s no person in the whole world like you. I like you just the way you are.”
We all know there are no perfect families, just as there are no perfect people. But as Mister Rogers says: “I think the best thing that we can do is to think about what it was like for us, and know what our children are going through... Children can help re-envoke what it was like. And that’s why when you’re a parent, you have a new chance to grow.”
Plan a Mom’s Night Out and see A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, in theaters nationwide NOW.
For family-based discussion guides and other resources, visit http://resources.abeautifulday.movie/.
“Mister Rogers’ simple philosophy of kindness is needed more now than ever before. The story is beautiful, Tom Hanks’ acting is superb, and the message is one that will impact your life. I have recommended it to so many people and will continue to do so. It’s movie-making at its finest.”
Michael W. Smith, singer/songwriter
“A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD inspires viewers to be their authentic selves. Mister Rogers took up space in the universe that only he could have filled – and look at how he changed the world. His example inspires me to look at my children and grandchildren and say… take up all the space you were intended to take. There are a million ways to live a life. Please live yours.”
Amy Grant, multi-platinum recording artist
Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.