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Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Movie
Starring: 
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Jun 08, 2018
Grade:
A
Running Time: 
93 minutes

As someone who has been covering the entertainment industry for years, I’ve learned that you have to separate the actor from the characters they play on screen. Actors who play bad guys aren’t necessarily bad in real life. That’s easy to understand, but the same can be said about the opposite as well; people might not be as nice as the characters they play, either. It’s why they say you should never meet your celebrity idols because rarely do they live up to your expectations. After seeing Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I now wish I was able to meet Mister Rogers.

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? documents the life and impact of Fred Rogers and his iconic children’s show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I, along with millions of other kids, grew up watching the show, which is still impacting children to this day through reruns. The documentary highlights a man who was as wholesome off the screen as much as he was on screen; a rarity in Hollywood these days. Everything about his was good and kind as seen though interviews with those who knew and worked with him and behind-the-scenes footage from his shows and life in general. Today’s society seems like a constant stream of bad news and cynicism, so it’s unbelievably refreshing to see a film that is full of nothing but kindness and love.

 

Despite having grown up on Mister Rogers there was still plenty to learn about him through the documentary. He treated kids as equals and never looked down upon them. The way he is able to convey complex ideas like death and divorce using simple terminology that kids can understand is unrivaled. His message of 143 or “I Love You” is what he, and the documentary itself, are all about.

 

Bring tissues because Won’t You Be My Neighbor? will without a doubt make your eyes well up with happy tears. I was fine through most of the film, but then it absolutely got me towards the end. There’s just something so genuine and wholesome about Fred Rogers and his personality that no other person has come close to rivaling. His loving message and legacy is something that will live on forever.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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