When I was younger, my mother always used to take me to the local marine theme park -- think: Sea World, but in Canada, we called it Marineland -- to see the whales, dolphins and sea lions. I'll admit, my obsession with these ocean creatures stemmed from watching Free Willy one too many times growing up, but I still loved going to the park as a kid.
Based on a true story, Big Miracle is a touching tale about an Alaskan town that rallies together to save three gray whales trapped under ice -- and one that brought back every memory of my Marineland childhood adventures. Starring Drew Barrymore as Rachel, a determined Greenpeace activist and John Krasinski as Adam, a local reporter (also Rachel's ex-boyfriend), the two find themselves at the forefront of a breaking story that they didn't even know existed.
In the small town of Barrow, AK, three great gray whales (nicknamed Fred, Wilma, and Bam-Bam) are found trapped under the ice on their way out to the Arctic Ocean. Following an unusually cold fall, the whales are becoming trapped under an increasingly thick layer of ice -- and it falls to the small town to maintain a small opening so that the whales can get the air that they need to survive.
Adam begins reporting the story from the small Alaskan outpost and within days, the story has gone national. Attracting reporters from every corner of the country, like the beautiful L.A. reporter Adam's been crushing on Jill (Kristen Bell), and even the attention of the President, the world eagerly looks on as the country rallies together to break the ice and lead the whales to the ocean. But when the U.S. Army's plan to pull an ice-breaking boat via helicopter through the frozen waters fails, the whales' chances of survival becomes critical and Rachel must lead the town in drilling five miles of blow holes to lead the whales to open water!
This movie was so sweet and incredibly inspirational -- especially once you find out that all of the characters in the movie are real people who cared so much about this town and this story. The central message of the movie is that everything and everyone needs help sometimes -- and you can't help but root for the town of Barrow to overcome the plummeting temperatures, thickening ice and government obstacles and save these lovable whales in any way that they can!
Will you see Big Miracle this weekend?
Katie, J-14 Editorial Associate
Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures