I have noticed the following story has been redone many times.
With slight variations, the general story lines are extremely similar:
The unsuspecting and naive child or ‘street kid’ helps a disabled or lonely adult who drinks a lot and whom nobody likes. In return, the adult helps the younger person mature.
Here is the check list to qualify for this ‘sub-genre’:
- Heavy drinking scenes
- Adult and young adult/child combo
- Driving is to be involved in at least one scene
- The younger of the two will become more confident and mature at the end
- The older of the two will have a new-found acceptance or appreciation of life (except for You’re Not You… lol)
- Comedy/drama genre
- At least one character is witty with good come-backs
- If it’s an English movie, some haircuts will be questionable
- Tends to have a good soundtrack
“When a woman says she doesn’t want to go on, she doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to go on! I’m just nervous!”
Evie (Julie Walters) is a retired actress who is lonely and drinks a lot. She hires a young man, Ben (Rupert Grint), to help her around the house. Ben is unwittingly taken on a camping trip on the way up to Edinburgh. Ron learns to relax and indulge his writing talent, and Evie learns to move on from grief and loneliness after making piece with her acting career.
Scent of a Woman
“I don’t know whether to shoot you, or adopt you!”
Frank Slade (Al Pacino) is a retired, blind Lieutenant Colonel who is lonely and drinks a lot. He hires a young man, Charlie (Chris O’Donnel), as a caregiver over a long weekend. Charlie is unwittingly taken on a trip to New York with no expense spared. Charlie learns that a problem back at his school can be solved through loyalty and not by snitching. Frank learns there is still something to live for despite being hated, lonely and blind.
You’re Not You
“She doesn’t make me feel like a patient”
Kate (Hilary Swank) is a pianist diagnosed with ALS and hires a young woman Bec, (Emmy Rossum) as a caregiver. They decide to take a few trips together. Kate learns that she doesn’t want to be with her husband and accepts her fate, and Bec realises she can be a performer without fear.
“That’s what I want… No pity.”
Philippe (François Cluzet) is a quadriplegic and hires a young man Driss, (Omar Sy) as his caregiver. They go out together on numerous drives and adventures. Philippe learns that he can still enjoy life, and Driss gets out of the gang life and on the straight and narrow, supporting his family.
“He doesn’t like people, people don’t like him… Why do you like him?”
Vincent (Bill Murray) is a retired veteran who is hired to be the after-school caregiver for his new neighbour 12-year-old Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). After school activities involve going to the races, gambling and going to the pub. Oliver learns to confront his bullies and becomes more mature. Vincent learns that not everyone hates him, and despite having a tremendous ‘absolute low’ during the film, finds friends who include him as family. He also matures thanks to Oliver.
About a Boy
“I’m an island”
Will (Hugh Grant) is a wealthy man in early retirement who is approached by 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) who Will reluctantly takes under his wing. After regular after-school caregiving, Will tries to make Marcus ‘cooler’ to help him not get bullied so often. He also tries to help with his suicidal mother’s depression. Marcus learns to be himself in a way where he doesn’t get bullied, and Will learns that being alone won’t make him happy. That family and friends can bring happiness.
Some of these films are certainly amazing though. Must be a popular tale!
Let me know if you can think of any more!