Based on the best-selling book of the same title written by Jim Stovall, this is a story of social betterment. In Century City, California, the wealthy grandfather Howard "Red" Stevens dies and leaves his last will and testament on a videotape for his spoiled and socially unattractive adult children, but the bulk of the estate is up for grabs.
There is one member of the family Red instructed his executor and business partner Ted Hamilton (Bill Cobbs) to give the bulk of the wealth to — that person is the grandson Jason (Drew Fuller). Red has special plans for the lazy and shallow Jason, and Ted Hamilton has the duty of giving Jason twelve elaborate tasks and challenges that Red calls "gifts" to carry out.
As I was watching the various tasks Jason had to do in order to receive his wealth, the film turned into a great drama. Some of the stories involve Jason learning responsibility by working for Gus (Brian Dennehy), a Texas rancher, learning how to establish friendships with a single mom Alexia (Ali Hillis) and her daughter Emily (Abigail Breslin) who has leukemia, a homeless man in the park, and an Ecuadorian group of humanitarians. Each sequence of events in every story plays like a mystery in life, telling a very profound story.
Jason becomes a better person as the film progresses and as each task is fulfilled he earns his way to the final goal of displaying compassion, humility, and heroism, thus becoming a good and decent person.
Each performance in this film is outstanding. An exceptional performance is given by Abigail Breslin. Supporting cast members are Lee Meriwether, Donna Cherry, Mircea Monroe, D. David Morin, and Tom Condor (the bum in the park). James Garner claims that this will be his final film, and if this true, he will leave with an outstanding exit.
Directed by: Michael O. Sajbel
Run time: 114 mins.
Release date: March 9, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13