Anybody remember The Legend of Bagger Vance? Of course you remember The Green Mile. These movies, and others like them usually starring Morgan Freeman, are often criticized for having a "Magical Negro" character, who arrives just in time to change the lives of some naive-ass white folks with their special brand of wisdom. It's a funny criticism, and doesn't necessarily ruin a movie (The Green Mile is pretty great in my opinion) all by itself, but they definitely should make audiences wary. That was the feeling I got when watching the first trailer for sappy-looking drama Same Kind of Different As Me, starring Renee Zellwegger, Greg Kinnear, and Djimon Hounsou.
Hopefully you figured out it was Zellwegger and Kinnear who need the saving this time. Directed by Michael Carney, the film is based on the memoir by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, a wealthy white man who befriends a volatile homeless black man that his wife had apparently been dreaming about. Normally that's grounds for a divorce but here it's a step in turning this couple's troubled marriage around. Here's the synopsis:
“SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME” is the story of an international art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) who must befriend a dangerous homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife (Renée Zellweger), a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives. Jon Voight plays Hall’s father, with whom he reconciles thanks to the revelations of his new life.
Same Kind of Different As Me opens February 3rd 2017, and before I judge this movie too harshly I should remember that Hounsou starred as a "Magical Negro" character in Jim Sheridan's In America, which is amazing.