I liked it enough to tell my mom to watch it.
I watched The Peanut Butter Falcon with my girlfriend one night, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The story of a troubled young man bringing a run-away kid with Down syndrome under his wing, to help him accomplish his dream, is not only heart-warming as hell, but an incredible message for people with disabilities around the world.
As someone who knows disability very well, I am very tentative when watching films about disability. Too often it is decided that a disabled person would be unable to portray themselves on screen and a healthy actor is chosen to play that part. On principle, I think this does more to discriminate against disabled people than to reinforce them. In certain instances, it can be a fantastic film (i.e. The Theory of Everything) but oftentimes it isn’t. The Peanut Butter Falcon is very, very true to its portrayal of its Down syndrome lead character. Not only does the actor, Zack Gottsagen, himself have Down syndrome, but acting in this film is a real-life dream that resembles the story arc of his character. The approach that the filmmakers take to representing Down syndrome in this film brings a lot of respect and education to people who otherwise would simply not understand it. Shia LaBeouf delivers a very honest and mature performance, which was really impressive to me, considering I grew up watching him in Transformers.
The plot brings these two very different people together, to form an unlikely partnership. As they start to work together, you can see the best come out of each of them. The adventure they go on, although being a bit unrealistic, is entertaining and enthralling. The stakes in the film feel very genuine and I found myself fully invested in this young man’s dream. The message of this film is for people to follow their dreams, and that even if you have a disability, nothing is impossible.
Overall, this film has a lot of heart and honesty, the characters are lovable, the plot is fantastic and the overall filmmaking is good too. If you don’t smile a bit after watching this film, what’s wrong? It didn’t just make me smile because it was “cute”, it made me smile because it really means something, something positive at that. Would I watch this again? 1,000%. I have! Should you watch this film? Of course! Do yourself a favor and check out this really entertaining and heartwarming Indie Film.