DVD Review: Getting Grace

STUDIO: Random Media | DIRECTOR: Daniel Roebuck | CAST: Daniel Roebuck, Madelyn Dundon, Marsha Dietlein Bennett, Dana Ashbrook, Duane Whitaker, Diane Wagner
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 6, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $14.99
BONUSES: behind the scenes, Lehigh Valley Charity premiere footage, director commentary, deleted scene
SPECS: PG-13 | 112 min. | Family comedy/drama  | 2:35.1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video | Overall

Cancer movies are an interesting niche in the entertainment world. From The Fault in Our Stars to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, one can see that there’s an ever-growing list of movies about cancer specifically geared towards teenagers and their parents. The trend continues with Getting Grace, a movie that centers on a cheerful teenage girl dying of cancer.

Grace (Madelyn Dundon) seems to approach her impending demise with an easygoing attitude that many people don’t understand. Her life may be ending, but others will have their lives changed for the better because of her positive attitude. One such person is a reclusive mortician, Bill (Daniel Roebuck), whom Grace unceremoniously befriends after crashing his mortuary to figure out what will happen to her after she dies.

Madelyn Dundo and Daniel Roebuck in Getting Grace.

While Getting Grace does have a certain “made for TV movie” quality to it—from its editing to the score—it’s a tone that plays to the movie’s benefit. After all, who doesn’t love cozying up on the couch after a long day of work to unwind with a movie that one could imagine seeing on the Hallmark Channel? Considering director/co-writer/lead actor Daniel Roebuck has an extensive background in television, it makes sense the movie plays to his roots. Quite literally, in fact, as Getting Grace also takes place in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a portrait of which he paints quite lovingly.

A cancer-themed narrative can often times feel emotionally manipulative, but y the saving grace of Getting Grace is that it’s a film that may make its viewers cry, but in a way where it feels earned and natural. It isn’t as though anyone is going to pick up this movie and not anticipate shedding a tear or two, so I’m happy to say it gently tugs at your heartstrings as opposed to forcibly pulling on them. It works in line with Grace’s positive, yet realistic, attitude towards death and the way she approaches it with her friends and family.

The movie shines brightest when approaching death in a comical, positive light. It is a bit longer than it has to be—the story does drag in the middle and some of the drama falters a bit—but that can be forgiven as it’s bookended by a charming beginning and a heartwarming, cathartic ending.

Buy Getting Grace
on DVD

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