This is yet another one of those British/Scottish/Welsh/Irish films that takes place in some wee town or wee neighborhood full of eccentric folk doing eccentric things that eventually prove that life is so beautiful and wonderful and full of potential that we're apparently supposed to jump up and down, grab the person next to us, and dance for joy. I wanted to puke.
Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) pretends that her son Frankie (Jack McElhone) has a father who's out at sea. Frankie writes letters to his dad and Lizzie takes them to the post office where she creates elaborate responses. Added to this pathetic set-up is the fact that Frankie is deaf and that the ship his father is supposedly on is docking. Lizzie decides to hire a man (Gerard Butler) to act as Frankie's father.
Naturally, Frankie isn't one of those kids for whom a handicap is an actual inconvenience. Instead, Frankie is a "champion lip reader" according to his mother, making him too perfect for words. This fits nicely with the guy impersonating his father, who also turns out to be too perfect for words. He charms Frankie and charms Lizzie and becomes charmed by them both.
Actually, there is a dark side to the movie, which concerns Frankie's real dad, or "Da" as most British/Scottish/Welsh/Irish people like to say. Incidentally, "Da" is also the sound I tend to make repeatedly as my brain cells get burned off watching this kind of syrupy crap.
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