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The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Ultimate Gift

Jason, played by Drew Fuller, becomes best friends with Emily, played by Abigail Breslin, in The Ultimate Gift,	 a film that shows friendship and kindness win out over monetary gains.  Photo courtesy FoxFaith Films
Jason, played by Drew Fuller, becomes best friends with Emily, played by Abigail Breslin, in The Ultimate Gift, a film that shows friendship and kindness win out over monetary gains. Photo courtesy FoxFaith Films

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Jason, played by Drew Fuller, becomes best friends with Emily, played by Abigail Breslin, in The Ultimate Gift, a film that shows friendship and kindness win out over monetary gains.  Photo courtesy FoxFaith Films
Jason, played by Drew Fuller, becomes best friends with Emily, played by Abigail Breslin, in The Ultimate Gift, a film that shows friendship and kindness win out over monetary gains. Photo courtesy FoxFaith Films

The Ultimate Gift utilizes one of the biggest of Hollywood clichés: the spoiled brat learns a vital lesson from a kind person. Now having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Red Stevens (The Notebook’s James Gardner) dies, and his family of money-hungry socialites appear for the reading of his will. None of them gets the immense inheritance but his grandson, Jason (Charmed’s Drew Fuller) is left the “ultimate gift.”

Little does Jason know, the “ultimate gift” is a series of 12 tests that need to be done over a year, handled by Stevens’ good friend and attorney Ted Hamilton (Night at the Museum’s Bill Cobbs), to help Jason understand the value of life.

The billion-dollar fortune may or may not be attached to the end of these assignments, but that’s a risk Jason just has to take.

One of the tests consists of Jason’s working for a month on a Texas ranch, which of course is a month longer than Jason has ever worked.

Another test makes him temporarily homeless and poor as he tries to find a true friend. His shallow entourage of chums and his girlfriend head for the hills when they hear of his lack of funds, and Jason has to make a park bench his new residence.

Desperate to find this true friend so he can proceed through the tests, he tries to buy a friend, the spunky Emily (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin) and her mother Alexia (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Ali Hillis). Emily agrees to be his friend, although not for pay, and he soon learns Emily is a leukemia patient and Alexia is tremendously in debt.

The other tests make Jason help various people in various places even taking him to Latin America to learn what truly happened to his father. Though the incident Jason encounters in the mountains in some third world country is a little farfetched, it doesn’t really detour from the movie’s message.

The Ultimate Gift is under the newly created family-friendly label, FoxFaith, but instead of preaching about the Christian faith, director Michael Sajbel (One Night with the King) focuses more on the power of giving.

This film reminded me of the “help people unselfishly” philosophy of Pay it Forward.

The film is predictable to no end but still leaves the audience with a warm feeling and maybe a few tears. Though the movie isn’t groundbreaking, it is genuine and sweet.

Fuller carries the film well and is pretty strong as the spoiled rich kid. He does a good job of not being too stereotypical and gives Jason a little bit of depth.

Breslin is probably the cutest kid in Hollywood right now. I absolutely loved her in Little Miss Sunshine, and I enjoyed her as Emily. She brings a lot of humor and great optimistic energy to the film.

I was really impressed with her scene in the hospital church. The rest of the supporting cast is well-rounded and gives a good, solid foundation.

I give this film 3 stars out of five.

The Ultimate Gift will be released in selected theaters March 9.

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