MR. CHURCH (2016) – My rating: 8.5/10

I recently viewed Mr. Church on Amazon even though it was said to be released in theaters in September of 2016 — I’ve never heard of it, too bad because it is a wonderful, feel good movie from beginning to end.  This one flew way under the radar.  Mr. Church is an unusual story of how I wish people really were but no sense in pondering over what isn’t, instead I’ll relate this story to you the best I can and urge you to see it if you can.  Mr. Church will warm the cockles of your heart.  The opening titles include the phrase: “Inspired by a true friendship.” In 2011, the screenwriter, Susan McMartin, posted “The Cook Who Came to Live With Us,” which appears to be the story on which the screenplay is based.

A little girl name Charlotte “Charlie” Brooks (Natalie Coughlin) lives with her single mother Marie Brooks (Natascha McElhone) in a small, just below the poverty line, apartment. The 2 lived alone happily together until one morning, Charlie is awakened by the heavenly smells of breakfast and a strange Black man in their kitchen named Mr. Henry Joseph Church (Eddie Murphy). Upset because Mr. Church was invading their privacy, Charlie was rude and asked that her mother get rid of him.  She later learns that Mr. Church was hired by Richard, her mother’s deceased ex-lover, to take care of them for six months because Marie has breast cancer and has been given just six months to live.

Six years later, Marie is still living and Mr. Church has become a fixture in the household. An older Charlie (Britt Robertson) is a senior in high school and even though her mother is still alive, she is weakened and on heavy medication and bed rest. Charlie had grown even closer to Mr. Church because of her inability to come to terms with Marie’s impending death. Marie lives long enough to see Charlie go to prom with her dream guy Owen (Xavier Samuel), but dies soon after.  Mr. Church stays with Charlie after Marie dies and remains as much of a mystery as the day he came into their lives.

There is so much to learn about Mr. Church.  Charlie gets accepted to Boston University, which becomes an adventure in itself.  It seem like there’s nothing Mr. Church cannot do, including designing and sewing a prom dress.  Mr. Church and Charlie gives us drama, mystery, love, tears and some OMG moments.  I absolutely enjoyed the movie and was thrilled that I got to see it for free on Amazon as a Prime member.  It’s also on DVD.  I highly recommend Mr. Church for a nice change of pace.

 

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