The Right Stuff
After a decade of teaching special needs, Mike Kersjes (John Corbett) feels like he has hit a brick wall, lacking motivation and frustrated by how others, including the teachers, treat the kids he teaches with the help of Robyyn (Jessy Schram) and support of his wife Darcy (Moira Kelly). When following another less than successful field trip where one of his class took a wad of pamphlets for the NASA space camp Mike decides that maybe space camp would be an interesting idea for his students despite Robyyn believing he is wasting his time as everyone will say no. Sick of listening to people saying his kid's can't do anything Mike sets about making it happen not letting the constant "nos" to prevent it from happening and dealing with those who would try to sabotage it after all his hard work.
"A Smile as Big as the Moon" is the sort of movie which does what the title says, it gives you a smile as big as a moon when you watch it. And the reason for that is that this made for TV movie which is based on a true story works on various levels which combine to make a charming, uplifting and inspiring movie which once it is over you will have on your list of movies you want to watch again.
So why is that then? Well first there is Mike Kersjes' story and his never give up attitude. As such we have this man who doesn't see the word "no" as a final; he seems powered on to turn that "no" into a yes. We also see how this man thinks outside of the box when it comes to getting things done and is like a father figure to these children. Of course there is more to it than that as in typical fashion Mike's determination borders on obsession and this has knock on effects from the football team he coaches feeling like he isn't paying them the attention he is suppose to whilst his wife thinks that maybe his determination is driven from his refusal to be beaten rather than just for the good of the kids.
But it is not just about Mike as "A Smile as Big as the Moon" is also about the children he teaches and how each one has their own gifts which make them others equals or in some cases their superiors. And it is uplifting to see those who have special needs portrayed in a very positive light, showing their capabilities rather than focusing on what they can't do. But it also shows the darkness of some people who not only mock these children but feel like they shouldn't really get to do anything with those perceived as normal should be first choice.
What this all boils down to is that "A Smile as Big as the Moon" is a moving, touching, uplifting and inspiring movie which will warm the hearts of those who watch, open their eyes and encourage them to never give up.