A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood is a great movie, and in 2019, it’s something we could all learn from. Detailing the life of journalist Lloyd Vogel. (a pseudonym for real life journalist Tom Junod who actually profiled Rogers in 1998) Lloyd is a cynical, broken man who has seemingly no joy in life besides his wife Andrea, and his son Gavin. Lloyd is famous for being brutally honest in his articles, especially when talking about people he meets, and when he’s assigned to do a “Hero Profile” on Fred Rogers, he’s scared. His wife asks him not to “Ruin her childhood.”
Lloyd has many issues he hides, his absent father, his mother’s death, his distant relationship with his sister and her inability to keep a marriage. All in all, Lloyd is not having a great life currently, until he arrives on the set of Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Lloyd arrives during the taping of an episode, and he is privileged with seeing Rogers in action before their interview.
Once Rogers comes into the forefront of the film, he never leaves, and wow, Tom Hanks is incredible here. He really is constantly proving himself as one of the greatest actors of all time. Everyone is great, but Hanks really stands out. He captures Rogers calm, collected, yet whimsical and curious persona fantastically. He looks the part, and definitely delivers.
As the film progresses we see Rogers help Lloyd through many of his problems and even shed light on a few of his own. He speaks about raising his sons and how difficult it was, and we see that, while Rogers was a tour de force for good, he struggled just as much as all of us.
This film creates a great atmosphere and displays so many issues we face on a daily basis and presents them in ways we don’t generally see. Weather it’s an argument with a family member, a traffic jam, your boss makes you do something you’re not fond of, whatever it may be, it can all be tolerated. Kindness and compassion are all we need to have. If we accept each other for who we are and don’t drag each other down, but rather lift each other up, that’s how we prevail as a people.
Every issue, no matter how small, can all be taken care of, and no matter who you are, or how bad things may seem, you’ll be OK. That’s what this film means to me, and that’s what Fred Rogers did for the world. He showed us that every person deals with hard times, and as long as you live a kind life and show compassion to every person, every day can be a beautiful day in the neighborhood.