Won`t You Be… My Neighbor?Remembering Rogers in ‘A Beautiful Day’


Samantha Meek, Staff

The film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is inspired by the works and influences of Fred Rogers, the gentle-hearted and famous children`s TV host. Directed by Marielle Heller, who also directed the moving biological drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?this inspiring story is one of many that brings written works to life.  

Fred Rogers has inspired many people for his lessons of kindness to many, regardless of race, gender, special needs, sickness, etc. For those who knoand are inspired by Fred Rogers, prepare to be more amazed and get ready to shed some tears. And if you didn’t realize these things about him, be prepared to be impressed. 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a movie about young journalist and father Lloyd Vogul (Matthew Rhys), a writer known to have a lack of humanity in his writing. He is moved by the great children`s TV show host (Tom Hanks) when he is accepted to write a profile about him in the magazine Esquire while trying to forgive his father for his past wrongs. This movie is inspired by the friendship between Rogers and the journalist, Tom Junod.  

The film has received critical praises for its powerful message of acceptance and understanding and reviews from many people were all positive.  

From Forrest Gump to the Toy Story franchise, Tom Hanks has been praised for capturing our hearts playing his role as Rogers. Some say that Hanks looks and sounds like Rogers himself. According to the website Snopes, Tom reveals that he`s related to Fred himself; both share the same great-great-great-great-great grandfather. 

The main character of this story is not Rogers, but Lloyd and his journey of healing. After losing his mother at a very young age, and his father leaving him, his sister, and his mother while she was suffering a painful death, Lloyd has become a lost, angry soul, unwilling to forgive his father. 

Director Marielle Heller considers him as an “antagonist who comes into someone`s life and turns it upside down through his philosophy and the way he lived his life.”  

 Life is not perfect. Even Rogers says so, but he makes this show so we can learn how we should go through tough times in non-violent ways and learn to love and forgive. 

Throughout the movie, the setting mostly resides in Rogers`s show, which was seen as the inside colorful, comfy little house with a big yard, including meeting Mr. Rogers`s puppet characters. When the settings change, the movie focuses on a little diorama of a specific place or city, describing where the characters are heading to, usually where Lloyd is going since the movie mainly focuses on him. 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has many moments where we shed a puddle full of tears. When Lloyd`s father apologizes for what he did and why he came to spend time with Lloydwe learn that we all have done wrong, but that doesn`t mean others don`t love us or that we don`t regret what we did. 

 The movie doesn`t portray how Fred helps people, but rather demonstrates how he turned, not just Lloyd, but many people`s world upside down by accepting them. He sits down with them and just haa nice chat with them. That`s how Fred teaches us the definition of being a neighbor. 

It`s not where you live or where you are, it`s about accepting people, no matter what they look like or what they`re going through, into open arms and being a king to them.