Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
A PG-13-rated documentary supposedly about the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host Fred Rogers, whom I feel, were he alive today, would most likely find appalling. The good-hearted Rogers would not want the big-screen for-fame/for-profit Hollywood treatment – he just wasn’t like that. That’s the irony of this film. This repetitive and verbose display should have been produced and released on PBS, and it could have just been 30 minutes – that’s what Rogers would have wanted. He wouldn’t have wanted a boring puff-piece about himself to be rated PG-13 either. He was all about being clean-cut, for the kids, and the PG-13 thing goes completely against the ethos of Mister Rogers. The makers of film completely missed the point of Fred Rogers’ entire being/spirit/legacy, even though they spend 90 minutes pontificating and waxing all faux-intellectual about it. By the film’s final third we’re bored to death, and it gets very political, like left-wing political. Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton all show up when they really have nothing to do with Fred Rogers. This may piss off the progressives out there, but Fred Rogers was a lifetime Republican. This fact, of course, is conveniently left out of the film.