- Highly recommended for ages 12 and up 1/24/2007 12:00:00 AM by pjdw2005
The Reading Room is another example of good writing, directing and acting without the need for provocative dress or behavior or language that makes even sailors blush. The movie jacket description although enticing did not do the film justice. I expected a mediocre film that was interesting and found myself enthralled in a well written story that made me feel as if I were a tourist visiting the inner city for the first time. As I "evesdropped" beside the unnamed tattooed man who stood outside the Reading Room beneath the lamppost (who IS that man?) the entire movie unfolded before "us" as we stood mesmerized by the happenings and how each character interacted with the others. There was one disturbing scene of "injury" that may be upsetting to a young child or persons in abusive relationships but over all the movie is interesting without being offensive and provides a good life lesson for all.
- A "goodness story" for the Holiday Season 11/26/2005 12:00:00 AM by shneur
This actually wasn't bad for a Hallmark Campbell soup pre-Christmas sentimental tale, which of course is a lot a caveats. James Earl Jones is a retired African-American businessman who returns to the ghetto where he grew up to open a free "reading room." This was his dying wife's last wish, and its prescience is revealed to him, and to us, as time goes on. The protagonist is surprised to find that, though a native, he is regarded as an unwelcome outsider by many elements within his old neighborhood. James Earl Jones gives an outstanding performance which saves the film from being merely sappy, and Douglas Spain, as his young and often reluctant protégé, is a real stand-out. The limited budget of a made-for-TV movie is evident, but it was used prudently and the result is a warm story that's easy to watch.
- Wonderful, Compassionate Film! (A Must See) 11/27/2005 12:00:00 AM by Bobblehead326
To the Readers:
This is by far, now one of my favorite movies. As I was talking to a friend on AOL instant messanger, they told me that on the Hallmark channel would be a movie "The Reading Room" that they thought that I would enjoy it, so I decided to watch it.
Recently, I have felt as if I have had no friends. This movie made me feel like I was there, and like I had friends. Not a lot of movies, in my opinion, can make you feel as if you're actually there in the scene witnessing all of these acts that they actors put on. This movie fulfilled a lot of empty spaces. It is an enlightening movie that I feel everyone should see.
I really don't think this movie could use any improvement. All of the actors in it, really show compassion for their roles. I think the parts could not have been better done; They're as perfect as can be, in my opinion! I think you could be in the worst mood, and after watching this movie, you'll want to spread joy. I really hope after reading this, you all rent this movie... You won't regret it!
- After the death of his wife, a Professor (James Earl Jones) opens a reading room in the neighborhood of his youth. 12/6/2005 12:00:00 AM by eastdebbie
These comments are from the perspective of a literacy educator and teacher educator. I found this movie by accident as I was doing the normal flip through the channels until I find something worth watching. I missed the first part of the movie and joined in when a teacher brought a student who 'couldn't' read to the Professor for help. While the movie is a nice, heartwarming story, it really a movie that moved me to begin to look for opportunities to provide a reading room in my little town. My little town may be too small for one similar to his but the premise will be the same - a safe place to come if you can't read, want to learn to read, need help with exams and test-taking, or any literacy issue. The Reading Room shows us how to do something - give something back - for our own communities that is more than give some money. It promotes the democratic ideals of our nation by providing access to and opportunities for engaging with books. In our poorest neighborhoods it is the limited access to and extremely limited funds for books and literacy resources in general that help create and perpetuate disconnections between academic success and under served populations.
- Underlooked Emotional Masterpiece 1/17/2008 12:00:00 AM by billion_mucks
I barely watch Hallmark, but "Reading Room" captivated me and Im trying to move every single soul into seeing it.
It's story is simple: a man who opens a place to read in a difficult neighborhood. Along the way, he will find people against his will and problems, but his ultimate desire is revealed as why he opened the reading room and left his wealthy life behind.
James Earl Jones is magical. He doesn't act, he illustrates marvelously every single feeling needed and written. His character is lovable and strongly human. His persistence and motivation to change the course of some lives are uplifting. I cannot think in a movie this simple that moved me so much. I recommend it with much passion.