A Beautiful Day in The Theater


 A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood, released on October 10, is a timely story where kindness triumphs over cynicism. The biography is based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and journalist Tom Junod. After Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a disgruntled magazine writer is assigned a profile of Rogers, an overtly nice children’s television host, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor. 

Being a journalist, Vogel had seen more than his share of ugly in the world. Shantytowns, jaded apartment complexes, corrupt officials were all among his repertoire. Having been in the business for that long, Lloyd knew that everyone who pretended to be squeaky clean had the biggest skeletons in their closet; of course, it didn’t help that he went looking for the worst in everyone.

After he is assigned to do a profile on the esteemed “Fred Rogers,” he immediately assumes that there must be some dirt to dig on him. So, as is typical for Lloyd, he immediately heads out to interview Mr. Rogers to learn more about him. However, Lloyd is quickly caught off guard by how genuinely nice Mr. Rogers is during his own interview. It is from this moment on he begins to think that something may be different with Rogers.

The more Lloyd interacts with Rogers throughout the movie, the more he reflects on his own character. It is made very clear from the beginning of the movie that Lloyd hates his father. However, at the end of the movie, Mr. Rogers performs what can only be described as a miraculous work of healing in not only Lloyd’s life, but Lloyd’s whole family. Lloyd learns to forgive his father for his past mistakes, while his father learns to love his son again.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood tells a very different story than most media portrays today. This movie provides us a hero, but not one with a cape or spandex. Batman and Superman are incredibly cool, and yes, they save the day too. But here, Mister Rogers is more than just a regular hero: He asks the audience to be one too.