Notable Cast Members: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Ted Danson, Kristin Bell, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, Rob Riggle, James LeGros
Overall Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (rating rationale)
Plot Summary: In 1988, Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) was on assignment in Barrow, Alaska as part of his “Adam Around Alaska” series for his Anchorage news station. Shortly before Adam was ready to depart, he and his young native Alaskan friend, Nathan, discovered three gray whales – a mom, dad, and baby – trapped in the ice. Adam’s ex-girlfriend Rachel (Drew Barrymore), who also happens to be a major Greenpeace activist, immediately begins campaigning for serious rescue efforts. Her cause is helped when NBC picks up the story and airs it nationally. Suddenly, the country is experiencing whale fever. The U.S. government, major oil companies, Barrow locals, and reporters and volunteers from across the U.S. band together to rescue the whales. The movie is based on a true story.
Personal Thoughts: I loved this movie! To be fair, I had a feeling I would going into it as I (a) love John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Bell and Ted Danson, (b) the film takes place in Alaska, a major place on my “To Visit” list, (c) the movie is all about animals, and (d) the film is based on a true story and even features excellent Cold War tension and cheesiness. All that being said, the movie did not disappoint. John Krasinksi and Drew Barrymore had a wonderful chemistry and did excellently in roles that fit them well. Ted Danson was deliciously evil yet human as an oil baron, as was Kristin Bell as an aspiring journalist. All of the greater supporting roles, such as James LeGros and Rob Riggle as helpful inventors, were well-done and enjoyable. The story itself was compelling and poignant. A big softie, I didn’t even wear masacra to the theater (despite the fact that I wanted to look cute since it was a date with Dan) because I knew I would cry at some point- which I of course did. The movie definitely ended on a positive note, though, along with some fun credits that included information about what happened to the main players in the rescue once it was completed. Overall, the movie was touching, funny, and interesting, and I highly recommend it.