Jim from "The Office" and Drew Barrymore star in the lighthearted drama Big Miracle, which is apparently based on a true story about three whales trapped under a sheet of ice, miles from the open ocean. Despite being sappy and melodramatic, Big Miracle is a movie that is hard to hate - and one that gets you rooting for the inevitable salvation of those silly whales.
Big Miracle is surprisingly star-studded. In addition to John Krasinski and Barrymore, who play a small town reporter and his psychotic Greenpeace ex-girlfriend (guess what happens to them at the end), the movie features the likes of Ted Danson as an evil oil tycoon (no maniacal laughs, unfortunately), Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root, Kristen Bell, John Michael Higgins and Dermot Mulroney. Sarah Palin is even credited on IMDB, though I don't remember seeing her.
Okay. It's not an A-list cast, per se, but the movie has a lot of recognizable faces. Clearly their agents convinced them that Big Miracle was going to be the sleeper hit of the year, 2012's Free Willy, or at least the equivalent to Soul Surfer.
The movie never made the splash that Universal Pictures expected or was hoping for and in terms of quality, the Ken Kwapis-directed film doesn't hold a spear up to those two pictures. But it's still wholesome good fun that feels like a family movie from the 1990's: it's got a feel-good attitude, but it doesn't entirely shy away from tragic moments and the broader implications of the situation.
Big Miracle is not a great movie, but is worth catching if it shows up on cable or Netflix one of these days. It is, however, one of those rare movies that the whole family can sit down and enjoy, and enjoy it for the same reasons.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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