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When David Wilson's young wife falls victim to cancer, he is left a single working dad with the sole responsibility of caring for his sixth grade son with autism. Patrick, who prefers to be called 'Po,' is a gifted but challenged child who was very close to his mother and unable to communicate his own sense of loss. As father and son struggle to deal with life after mom, they each begin to withdraw into their own worlds. David into the high pressure job he's close to losing and Po drifting away from the school where he's bullied into his magical fantasy world, the Land of Color, where he's just a typical carefree boy with a rich cast of other worldly companions. The growing divide between father and son and the challenges of single parenthood of a special needs child threaten to separate David and Po permanently. Based on a true story, the bonds of love between a grieving father and son are tested in the most real way in Po.
The inspiration to make the film came from the director's son, who was diagnosed with autism. He considers the film as a love letter to his son. See more »
Don't be afraid daddy.
Don't be afraid of what, pal?
Don't be afraid of me.
I don't want people to be afraid of me.
Don't be afraid of me, daddy.
I'm not afraid of you.
Daddy's not afraid, not anymore
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This film is suited for Lifetime TV or Hallmark Channel. With falling box office revenues, it's astonishing ithas had limited distribution to theaters.
Autism is a topic of massive concern that deserves to be treated with great care. This film presents a touching portrait of a widowed father trying to raise an autistic son on his own. Unfortunately it has the emotional finesse of a charging rhinoceros both in character-development and tone.
The father and son roles are aptly portrayed, but the script ventures into unknown territory and attempts to define it in ham-fisted ways. Then there's the played out trope of a grieving father who won't discuss his loss, despite repeated questioning from his son asking where his mom is. A lot of their interactions feel like those between two people who haven't met before, such as a dietary issue that could be remedied if the father bothered to incorporate what the boy needs (fiber) into what the boy wants.
The result feels overly ambitious. The school bully and others are one-dimensional and played with such gusto they lose their places. And then there's the person with whom Po most easily relates: a mentally-challenged person. Give me a break.
Most unforgivable was the happy ending; actually the avalanche of happy, tidy endings. The film's final act heads into territory that is so choked with tidy conclusions that I wondered what drama was up next to be neatly and much too easily solved. This script doesn't know when to stop.
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