Friday, February 17, 2012

Movie Review: Deep In the Heart

Opening in theatres throughout Texas today is the inspirational film Deep In the Heart, the true story of Texas hero Richard “Dick” Wallrath. Starring Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite), Elain Hendrix (The Parent Trap), and many more, the PG-13 film is poised to become a favorite for the many lives that have been changed through Dick’s generosity.

Deep In the Heart tells the true story of Richard Wallrath. Once an abusive alcoholic, Dick lost everything he knew – first his job, then his family who walked out on him, and then finally his hope. All his other relationships were likewise ruined when he began separating himself through his addiction. It was only through a wakeup visit from his mother that Dick began to see his need for change. After attending church, Dick began to get his life in order, but still continued to suffer anger problems and didn’t finally commit his life to God. But when he tried to reconnect with his family and realized that they did not want him back, Dick began praying to God, and that’s when the change began. After he received a job at a window factory, Dick was able to begin restoring his relationship with his oldest two boys who still didn’t trust him and who continued holding secrets from him. It wasn’t until years later that Dick realized that love isn’t love until it’s given away, so he began attending auctions to support Texas 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America). Through his successful business and generosity, Dick has made countless Texas’ teens dreams come true by sponsoring their college education.

Deep in the Heart is appropriately rated PG-13. Throughout the first half of the film, mild foul and crude language permeate Dick’s life. There are also several bar scenes where objectionable conversation is held. It accurately portrays an abusive alcoholic’s life, but is not suitable for younger children. Throughout the film, Dick has anger rages where he often utters a foul word here and there, and because of his alcoholic past, you never know what measures he might take. Some parts were fast-forwarded out of caution, but besides the language, most of the film doesn’t go too far in showing anything objectionable. For example, in the beginning when Dick beats his children, you only see him grabbing a belt, and his other children shuddering at the sound. Parental guidance will be needed through most of the film, so I would advise parents to watch the film first if they are considering showing the film to their children.

But despite the many parts where I was on edge throughout the film, Deep in the Heart has a powerful message of how everyone deserves a second chance. I very much enjoyed watching Dick make it right with his children, most of whom received him back after a while of watching his changed life. Three of his children came to work for him at his successful window business, and his ex-wife eventually forgave him for his hostile attitude he had shown her and the rest of their children. I also enjoyed how true to the story the producers kept the film. Extra features for the film include a comparison of Dick’s life with that of the actual film, and it’s clear to see that even the characters chosen, their hair styles, and attitudes all portrayed those of the actual story. Deep in the Heart also offers encouragement to those who are families of an alcoholic, showing them that prayer is a vital key to someone’s restoration.

All in all, Deep in the Heart is more of a celebration of the change Dick Wallrath made in Texas through his contributions to Texas 4H and FFA then it is a family-friendly film. It’s definitely not the best film I’ve seen, and it’s not very family-friendly either, but it is a good film about forgiveness and second chances.

Deep In the Heart Official Website

Deep in the Heart Official Trailer:



  1. I grew up in an alcoholic home and I think this movie sounds like it would be good for others who have/had loved ones who were alcoholics.

    From my experience, it is hard to give trust to those who have hurt others due to their alcoholism. Sometimes, it is like the boy who cried wolf. The alcoholic says they will change and that things will be different but it ends up being a false promise. So I can understand the hesitation to allow an alcoholic back into your daily life.

    Many times the loved ones of the alcoholic become enablers. Its a vicious circle. You think that by helping them that you are doing good but instead you are helping them keep alcohol as a crutch.

    I have had to distance myself from family and friends due to this. I was enabling them, at first without even realizing what I was doing. However, after some time you realize that you are allowing the alcoholic to drag you right down with them. Tough love is needed with alcoholics. Many times they need to fall in the gutter to wake up. As much as it hurts to see them fall, it is needed.

    Just like when we are pruned by God. As much as it hurts, its needed.

    Another movie that I am adding to my list is this one. Thanks for the review!

  2. Watching the trailer, I loved the part where the guy in the bar said, that after being forgiven it doesn't mean that you don't have to face the consequences of your actions.


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