12 November 2005 | bkoganbing
Dan, You've Had a Wonderful Life
David A.R. White who was the big teen star of Christian oriented films starred in this Nineties version of It's A Wonderful Life. As the George Bailey of the piece, White plays Dan Burgess whose Christian lifestyle has caused him to miss a whole lot of the more fun aspects of high school life or so he thinks.
His Clarence visits him and gives him a day in which he sees what life would have been like had he not become a believer and head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in high school. It's not quite what he expected.
The message is more forced and more theologically formal in Second Glance, but it still contains the universal truth that Henry Travers spoke in It's A Wonderful Life, that it is indeed strange how one life can impact on so many and an awful hole is left you take a good someone out of the mix.
George Bailey was a late thirty something with a wife and four kids and dealing with some real issues, economic and social as well personal in It's A Wonderful Life. Young Dan Burgess is dealing with a lot of teen angst, but his problems aren't any less real. And in his teen life he's had an impact like George Bailey, more than he realizes.
Except for young Mr. White, the acting in the rest of the cast is pretty lame and some of the situations are a bit forced. But Frank Capra had some of the best players around in his film and a top flight script. David A.R. White actually in this film does come across as you might have envisioned a teenage Jimmy Stewart.
White is a talented player and probably could have a career in mainstream films. I suppose it's a credit to his convictions that he's chosen to stick with religious films.
I do wonder how Mr. White might deal with a Gay/Straight Alliance forming at his school. I guess no one wanted to tackle that issue.
But the late Frank Capra was still alive when Second Glance came out and since he didn't sue anyone for plagiarism, I guess he saw the work as a sincere if flawed form of flattery.