A Smile As Big As The Moon (PREVIEW)

Michigan High School football coach and special education teacher, Mike Kersjes (played by John Corbett) is a good teacher that only wants the best for the children he teaches. Being a special needs teacher is not the easiest of jobs though and for Kersjes (pronounced like surges but with a k) has the help of assistant teacher Robynn (played by Jessy Schram) who is able to connect with the students on a more softer side that they need. Some of the students get out of control forcing Mike to get a little strict but while out on a school trip, the kids learn about NASA Space Camp. Once Mike learns about the camp and how much the students can gain if they are able to attend, he sets his goals on getting his students in. However, Mike finds out that NASA Space Camp doesn't offer any program for special needs children.  And, with disabilities like Tourette syndrome, Downs Syndrome, dyslexia, eating disorders, anger problems, and other disorders, NASA just isn't capable of dealing with the needs of the children and they might not be able to handle the requirements of the program.

What a really good movie A Smile As Big As the Moon turned out to be. I did not expect to have enjoyed watching this movie as much as I did. Here is a movie that’s about kids that have special needs and disabilities that make them the class rejects, who want to go to space camp, and then have to figure out a way to achieve their goals. In short, it’s a inspirational movie, and on that is based on true events. If you are looking to be inspired to do something that you’ve always wanted to or just get that warm fuzzy feeling , then A Smile As Big As the Moon would be a good movie for you to watch.

I’ve never heard about this story where these kids were able to not only get into the NASA Space Camp but they surprised everyone while exceeding every expectations people had of them. Being such a feel good movie with the heart of the story being that even when life is so unfair to you and more bad happens than good, it’s still possible to set a goal for something you want and achieve, it allows this movie to already have a good starting point. What makes the story work is the cast that was used. John Corbett is able to portray Kersjes as someone who cares deeply about teaching these children with special needs so that they will grow into adults who will be able to handle the world. Though he’s not just some soft teacher that will allow the kids or others to push him around, he’s stubborn, hard headed, and will go to great lengths to get what he wants. How Corbett plays the character makes the movie fun to watch as he also goes through all the trials and tribulations that the kids go through. Which speaking of the kids, they all do a superb job in their roles that I just want to slap all the people that were saying no to them.

The movie has a good pacing to it where it doesn't become boring. The only portion that is slow is really the few minutes that follow the opening scene. I really enjoyed how it opened looking like it was really in space and then took me from space to being in the room with the kids. Once the movie got into the main storyline of these kids trying to get into the NASA Space Camp my interest was kept until it was over. My one and only gripe about A Smile As Big As the Moon was that there wasn’t enough shown of the kids at the space camp. Though there is a good amount of scenes of the kids getting to take part in the camp it wasn’t enough in my opinion. I would have liked to see them having to deal more with the issues of what was going on in the camp as they spent their summer there. Otherwise, this movie was a lot of fun to watch that had me feeling good about these kids and proud of people that I’ve never met.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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