Today, I’d like to share another great family movie The Way Home which was released in late 2010 and is now available on DVD or Amazon Instant Video. Dean Cain (of Superman fame) and Lori Beth Edgeman reenact the true story of Randy and Christal Simpkin’s frantic search for their missing two year old son Joe. The movie is based on the Simpkins’ book Our Way Home, which tells the true story of their lives leading up to Little Joe’s disappearance.
At the start of the film, we immediately get the sense that Randy and Christal are just like you and me – stressed out, overly busy, and needing a little time away. We find them packing for a trip, but also both distracted by details and last minute “to do” list items. Randy takes a minute while supervising Little Joe to check his work email, and in the space of just a few minutes, the toddler goes missing.
What unfolds over the rest of the film is every parent’s nightmare: a frantic search for a little one who could be abducted or even dead. But we’re also treated to a front row seat as we watch the Simpkin’s community — both their neighbors and their faith community — come forward to their aid, both spiritually and physically.
The search for the child is intense and the range of emotions both Randy and Christal face is well acted and far too easy to believe. Who among us hasn’t had nightmares about a little one’s disappearance, or even lost a child for a moment or two in a crowded store?
But even more so than that feeling, I related greatly to Randy Simpkin’s tremendous remorse over the misplaced priority he’d been placing on earning a living for his family. In today’s world, so many of us expend so much effort on providing the best for our children that we may forget that what’s truly most important for them is our love and our time.
I won’t give away the ending of The Way Home, but I will say that this is a film you can enjoy with children and teens, as long as you watch along with them and address any fears they may experience about becoming lost themselves. It may also provide a good chance to offer a lesson for early elementary schoolers on what to do if they themselves should ever become lost.