Same Kind of Different as Me, directed by Michael Carney, is based on 2006 novel written by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent. The book detailed the fated meeting and subsequent bonding between Hall and Denver, who were respectively a successful art dealer and a homeless man.


Ron, played by Greg Kinnear, opens the film by mulling over the novel he plans to write, explaining how it is a true story involving the woman he married, Deborah. It’s strongly implied the two are no longer together and that the story of their separation will be a sentimental one, a tale that will resonate emotionally.

When we jump into the past, during the period when Ron’s memoir is set, this is reaffirmed fairly early. We quickly learn Ron cheated on Deborah (Renée Zellweger) and the painting he had given her as an anniversary present was a forgery, while he sold the real painting. Both Ron and Deborah share the mutual interest in salvaging their relationship, however, and Deborah knows exactly how Ron can prove his dedication to becoming a better man: helping her volunteer at her church’s services to aid the homeless. Ron reluctantly agrees to join her.


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Deborah has been having dreams lately featuring a man she hasn’t met, but she instantly recognizes him when he enters the cafeteria to ask for a meal. Wonderfully portrayed by Djimon Hounsou, this homeless man – who introduces himself as Suicide, and later admits his real name is Denvor – harbors a violent, easily agitated disposition, but he’s eventually won over by the Halls’ kindness, gradually becoming a family friend. He also eventually unveils his backstory, explaining the racism he was brought up with and a critical judgement error he once made. The acting in the film is very strong overall, but Hounsou steals the show. Jon Voight‘s role as Earl Hall, Ron’s crude, alcoholic father, ultimately adds little to the film.

As the movie progresses, both Ron and Denver grow whereas the religious Deborah, the catalyst behind their maturation, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although it feels awkward to challenge the film’s story given how it is based on true events, the film nevertheless progresses its plot and champions its racial and religious messages in clichéd manners, ultimately undermining the fascinating subject matter.

A requisite commentary track for the movie is included, and an abundance of extended and deleted scenes likewise appreciably offer commentary tracks. A 26-minute “Love is Patient, Love is Kind – The Making of Same Kind of Different as Me” feature discusses the process behind adapting the story, with several cast members and even the real-life Ron Hall chiming in. Finally, the aptly-named, 10-minute “Filming in Mississippi” feature rounds out the Blu-ray’s bonus features.

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