Monday, December 8, 2008

Hallmark Hall of Schmaltz

Last night, after I’d watched a few re-runs of House, I switched over to CBS for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, “Front of the Class.” In it, we meet Brad Cohen, an idealistic, driven young man, and ride along with him and his family as he pursues a teaching career despite his struggle with Tourette Syndrome. And, even though I knew (as is always the case with the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations) that everything would turn out all right in the end, the movie still made me cry…in scene after scene after scene.

And, never mind the movie. What about the commercials? Oh-my-gosh, did they ever turn on the waterworks. Considering that I’m the one who wants to fast forward from this season of holiday cheer straight through to Tu Bishvat, I’m somewhat ashamed to tell you that there I sat, bawling at the commercials. Whether it was the Hallmark kids unpacking the family's ornaments and remembering Christmases past or a grown daughter reading a schmaltzy birthday card from her reticent father, the evening -- thanks to both the movie and the commercials -- was a four-tissue affair, complete with smudged mascara and red, stinging eyes.

Bottom line, though, is that Brad Cohen – and his incredible moxie, gumption and courage -- stands as an inspiration to anyone who’s pursuing a dream that seems – for the moment – to be out of reach. Indeed, his story is one that deserves to be told.