Dan Donahue (Thom Matthews) has finally met the woman of his dreams. But on the night he is going to propose, he is overcome by deep-rooted anger caused by the father who abandoned him as a boy. Dan confronts his feelings of bitterness head on as he pours out his heart in a letter to his father.
As Dan writes, we see his life unfold, feeling his pain and ultimate joy, as we watch him grow from young boy to troubled teen and finally into a strong, spiritual man. In the end it is Dan’s father, played brilliantly by John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop I,II, III) who must face his own failures as a father in a climactic one on one meeting with the son he left behind.
Based on a true story, A Letter to Dad is a touching story of how faith and love can overcome a lifetime of pain and anger.
This is a powerful drama! Many people will relate to this well-acted, tightly directed and edited film. Johnny Remo knows how to direct a drama. The editing of this film was honed several times to present the tightest story possible and it works very well. This story will touch a lot of viewers, particularly anyone who has dealt with some kind of difficult relationship, divorce, or abuse in the family, which covers a lot of humanity in the viewing audience.
This is a well crafted story. The theme is that fathers need to be there for their kids and this movie very strongly shows what happens when they’re not. Dan Donahue meets a young woman he falls for. However, his memories of the father he adored, and yet who often ignored him, are painful. He writes a letter to his dad in order to make peace. He reflects about the times his father would pick him up following the divorce from his mother, and how his dad would go drink or do very little with him. His father’s bitterness towards his mother was constantly something his young ears heard. His temper was something his father couldn’t seem to get past.
John Ashton is terrific as the father Mike and Corin Nemec, Thom Matthews, and Adam Ryen are all fantastic as Dan at various ages. In his letter to his father, Dan includes a photo taken previously which shows a teen aged Dan with his arm around his father, but his father does not reciprocate the affection in the photo. However, the awesome ending in this film gives hope that things can change.
There are some scenes of partying, including the smoking of marijuana and drinking; but there are consequences including their depression and a girl’s suicide; and young Dan wakes up to realize he needs to move on with his life. He turns to God and there is a brief but nice church scene in the film.
We are pleased to award this film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. Even the music, composed by Matt Gates, is terrific in this movie. This is a movie which needs to be seen! It is nice to see such a powerful drama with no crude language or profanities.