Same Kind of Different as Me
by George Wolf
It’s been over a year since the trailer for Same Kind of Different as Me arrived, and was promptly met with the widespread mockery it deserved.
Planned release dates came and went. Was it retooling, or rethinking? Maybe they weren’t really going to put out a film with so much apparent racial condescension and white guilt?
They were, they are, they did.
It’s based on the best selling memoir – steady yourself if you haven’t heard this title – Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.
Ron and Debbie Hall (Greg Kinnear and Renee Zellweger) were rich white Texans in an unhappy marriage. They met homeless man Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou) and struck up a friendship which led to millions of dollars raised for the needy.
It’s a nice story. Helping thy neighbor is a lovely message. Why does it have to be delivered this way?
Denver seems like an interesting character, and he’s listed as a co-author on the book. Did anyone think to tell the story from his point of view?
No, we must get more precious white saviors, and celebrate them for taking a black friend to their white country club while they wash their hands of violent racism with empty voiceovers (of course there are voiceovers!) such as “there are things I just don’t understand.”
Bless your heart.
Not one thing in director/co-writer Michael Carney’s feature debut feels authentic. Even smaller details, like Debbie sleeping in full makeup or a young, poverty-stricken Denver sporting gleaming straight teeth, feed the notion that this is all just a self-congratulatory show.
Well, congratulations, this might even be worse than The Blind Slide.