Stan Philipps's wife Grace is a sergeant with the U.S. Army. While she's posted to Iraq, the earnest Stan is home in Minnesota with their daughters, Heidi, 12, and Dawn, 8. He manages a home supply store. After morning visitors bring Stan news, he takes the girls for a car ride that turns into a spontaneous trip to Dawn's favorite place, a Florida amusement park. On the way, they stop at Stan's mother's house, where his brother is staying. Heidi is an insomniac, who tries to fathom her father's uncharacteristic behavior. Dawn is cheerfully unreflective. They have fun at the park. Stan summons his courage.Written by
The film was originally going to be directed by Rob Reiner, who dropped out during pre-production for unknown reasons. The film's writer, Jim Strouse, then took over directorial duties. See more »
While the girls have dinner with Uncle John at Dairy Queen, his ice cream sundae appears to be finished and/or partially finished throughout their meal. At the beginning of the conversation that we see, the sundae appears to be finished as he tries to clean the bowl out with a spoon; but in the next shot we see that the sundae is only halfway finished. See more »
[on outgoing message]
Hi. You've reached Grace, Stanley, Heidi, and Dawn. We're not home right how, but if you leave a message, we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
[leaving a message]
Hi everyone, it's mom! I just wanted to call and tell you how much I'm thinking of you. Stan, I guess you're at work now. Have you had a chance to go to that group thing yet? I think its a great idea. God, it's hot here. I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to call again. It might be a ...
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Grace is Gone stars John Cusack as a husband whose wife has just been killed in Iraq. He doesn't have the courage to tell his two young daughters that their mother has died, so instead he decides to take them on a road trip, perhaps not to just make it easier on the girls but to make it easier for himself.
This film was pretty good but I felt it was flat at parts and some tears were forced. It didn't have as much emotion as I thought it would have. John Cusack does a great job acting in the film, but most of the time his character is just trying to hide the sadness from his daughters. Some scenes drag on and others don't seem to really fit in with the rest of the story.
My favorite scene in the film takes place in a store and involves the younger daughter wandering off on her own. The scene is so subtle and the drama isn't as obvious as other parts in the film, but it's quite an emotional scene. I wish the rest of the film had moments like that.
Politics aren't really discussed much in the film, at least not as much as I thought there was going to be. However, when it does, it goes with the typical cliché of family members differing in beliefs and trying to get their own point across. People will probably be interested in this film because of the subject matter and the modern storyline, but apart from the cause of death of the wife, the war is never really mentioned. In a way, that's why this film doesn't work at times. Apart from the one scene with his anti-war brother, Cusack's character never gets a chance to express his emotions and regrets because he's always with his children.
Nonetheless, as a film about a father trying to reveal to his children the death of their mother, it's a good film. But if you're seeing the film because it involves the war in Iraq, you'll be disappointed because the war is hardly mentioned.
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