This creative and unique film has a lot of entertainment value. Real-life comedian Rich Natole seems to be the inspiration for the character of Billy Rizzo, and Natole plays the character with comedic talent and even depth, adding nuances to his role.
The film captures the audience’s attention right off the bat, with Rizzo performing in Vegas, and impersonating Donald Trump, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Dustin Hoffman and Mike Tyson. He uses their voices in a spoof of The Wizard of Oz. There is a bit of political commentary, as the voice of Trump is used as Oz, and he says, “If you want your wishes granted, bring me the broomstick of Nancy Pelosi!” So, just a warning, it’s possible a few viewers could be put off by a few of the comments. It should be noted that famous comedian Rich Little appears in the movie, playing himself.
But the movie is not about politics nearly as much as it is about the homeless, and helping both the homeless and Vets. And the story leading up to this theme is filled with dramatic as well as a few comedic moments.
Rizzo’s wife Jacqui (Caylin Sams) meets tragedy in the film and Rizzo is left alone. He struggles in dealing with life minus his wife. He winds up gambling at a casino and keeps wanting a mark, or to finance his gambling and bets. He loses big time, and then can’t find a job anywhere. His life spirals downward until he finds himself being kicked out of the hotel he was staying. He is literally on the streets and homeless, a big contrast to the life he had lived just months before.
Throughout the film, Rizzo does impersonations and he is spot on, whether it’s Johnny Carson, Charles Nelson Reilly, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone or Bill Clinton. And, although he doesn’t realize it at the time, when he meets a homeless man named Beenie (Bruce Baum), his life is about to change. Beenie becomes an ally, showing Rizzo the ropes of surviving the life of a homeless person. And he shows him how to “look sad” when panhandling. Rizzo winds up meeting a local pastor named Pastor Emily (Joelle Righetti), who helps him and feeds the pet dog named Roady, which the homeless men have adopted.
Rizzo and Beenie begin to work together, along with Roady, and they perform for local people in small city areas, with Roady being the “talking dog” and Rizzo providing his various celebrity voices. And Pastor Emily influences Rizzo, who begins to realize there is more to this Jesus Christ and the Bible than he ever knew before. As his life begins to turn around, Rizzo’s passion to help the homeless and veterans increases dramatically. He begins to realize he can make a huge difference by doing small things.
In another one of the comedic scenes, Beenie shows Rizzo the area he and others have been sleeping, under trees on blankets, and Rizzo tells him, “This is terrible.” “We finally got it up to this level!” replies Beenie.
This film features an inspiring message of helping others, and trusting in the Lord, and it has captured our Dove seal for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take
This film features drama, laugh-out-loud moments, and the important message of helping those who are less fortunate.