Review of 5000 Blankets

Take your family to see this film, and be inspired to serve your community like this real-life mother/son did! 

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Disclosure: Many thanks to Sony Pictures for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Inspired by a remarkable true story, 5000 Blankets is filled with hope and highlights the power of family and faith: 

When her husband has a mental breakdown and goes missing, a woman and her young son set out to find him on the streets, sparking a movement of compassion towards those in need and inspiring a city.

When I first heard the story behind the movie 5000 Blankets, it immediately made me think of two books. One was this one, that years ago profoundly changed my mindset about helping the homeless, and the other was this one that I read just this past year that set my brain to wondering how I can help connect with my community in a more meaningful way. (I also made a connection to this movie, due to the mental illness component.)

The heartwarming story of 5000 Blankets shows just what can happen when you transform your heart to serve the people around you, and it's incredible to see how even simple ideas can make a huge difference to help others.

Phillip's Wish is an organization that was founded by a little boy who saw a need in the world and decided to do something about it. 5000 Blankets is inspired by this incredible true story and it's exclusively in theaters for two nights only on December 12 & 13.

Even though I was impressed and intrigued by the backstory, I didn't have super-high expectations for this movie. I prepared myself for mediocre acting and poor filmmaking, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that both of my assumptions were wrong.

I guess I should have figured that Sony Pictures would only produce a high-quality movie!

Loads of people I know love to watch feel-good Hallmark movies, and the whole time I viewed this film, I kept thinking that this movie would be perfect for them.

I also think this movie would be fabulous for a church group to go see together! It would make the perfect MOPS night out adventure (or for really any group to go enjoy on a night out together)!

Additionally, I know that many churches in our local area have been starting community service/outreach programs, so that's another reason I can think of for encouraging members to go see this film. I believe seeing 5000 Blankets would be a wonderful introduction to the issues surrounding mental illness and homelessness and would rally interest in the ministry programs churches are wanting to start.

Aside from those reasons, I also really feel like this movie would be a wonderful springboard for discussion about the challenges facing the homeless.

One aspect of the movie that I really appreciated was how it highlighted the fact that nobody wants to see the homeless. It's embarrassing to encounter and most people would rather just ignore it or randomly throw money at the problem to ease their guilt and just make it go away.

The movie also touched on how it can be nice that people want to help, but organizations are usually understaffed and most people don't realize what the true needs are (because these are often unglamorous and nitty-gritty, like providing personal hygiene products to shelters).

Although some of the issues surrounding the homeless population can be politically-charged, 5000 Blankets does a fine job of avoiding politics and exposing how the homeless issue has more complexity to it than people realize.

Finally, I thought it was great for the movie to show how mental illness can and often does lead to homelessness (& how, because of that, these people can be dangerous to approach, too!

It helps you see that you could really get hurt in an encounter where you attempt to help a stranger suffering from a mental illness--not to prevent you from becoming involved, but to serve as a heads-up and show how there's no simple fix for the problem. (This is especially brought to light after the movie ends, when it explains that life continues to be a struggle for the husband/dad, even though the family is working to help him.)

Despite the heavy, difficult topics this movie visits, 5000 Blankets is one you don't want to miss! Visit the movie's website here to see the trailer and buy tickets, or head straight to this site to buy tickets today to see 5000 Blankets, exclusively in theaters December 12 or 13 only!

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Have you ever stopped to consider the complexities of homelessness and how you can help? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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