Eye of the Dolphin
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2 1/2

Carly Schroeder, Adrian Dunbar, Katharine Ross, George Harris, Jane Lynch, Christine Adams. Drama/adventure. Written by Michael Sellers, Wendell Morris. Directed by Michael Sellers.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Alyssa is a troubled fourteen-year-old who has been living with her grandmother Lucy since the sudden death of her mother. Unable to control her granddaughter, Lucy decides its time for Alyssa to go to the Bahamas to live with Hawk, a dedicated dolphin researcher and the father she never knew she had. Alyssas arrival comes just as Hawk is battling the greedy developers determined to turn his research center into a tacky tourist attraction. A prickly relationship between Hawk and Alyssa begins to develop as they come together to save the center.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Young Carly Schroeder (Gracie, Firewall) is developing from cute screen presence into a talented actress. Through much of the film she brandishes the sulky stare that has come to represent screen teenage-hood, but suddenly she allows a captivating smile to beam across her face and you realize that there is depth to this young actress. Also athletic, Ms. Schroeder trained for several months with former Los Angeles Galaxy player Dan Calichman to prepare for her role in Gracie and has performed her own underwater stunts, including swimming with the dolphins.

We do see Alyssa in a rebellious stage, smoking, drinking and making herself up to look like a wild child, but it doesnt take long for her true self to emerge. She is a caring person, one full of character. The film subtly points out the need to nurture children. They need to feel loved and understand that they have importance. Along with this development, the film gives us an entertaining look at underwater life. Indeed, theres nothing cynical about the production. Its a straightforward story that takes us into a world most of us dont get to explore the undersea of the Bahamas.

Along with the involving performances and storyline, the film contains a pretty musical score and lovely cinematography. The themes concern bringing family together, learning to listen to others, keeping our hearts open. I must, however, warn parents that some content may confuse little ones. The film has a friendly Hallmark feel, so the inclusion of PG-13 content seems unnecessary and out of place. Along with showing Alyssas rebellious stage by including drinking smoking, even marijuana use, we also learn that her father lives with a woman outside marriage. Though this has become an accepted lifestyle, is it the example you want your young children constantly confronted with in movies?

There are no graphic sexual situations and the main characters grow into giving, self-sacrificing people. So, if you can enjoy a film despite a few lifestyle choices you may not agree with, then I think youll find the film an entertaining outdoor adventure.

NOW ON DVD. Bonus features include:

Carly's excellent dolphin adventure
The dolphins of Unexso
Actor bios
Wallpaper
Trailer

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Monterey Media

Summary
Crude Language: I caught none.
Obscene Language: One obscenity the s-word and eight minor expletives (damns and hells)
Profanity: None
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: The father lives outside wedlock with a woman, but no sexual activity. Attempting to rebel, Alyssa sports sexy attire and makeup, but again, we see no sexual situations.
Nudity: None.
Homosexual Conduct: None.
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None.
Drug Abuse: Some social drinking. Underage Alyssa is seen drinking, smoking and using pot in an effort to desensitize herself from her inner loneliness. Her mother has recently died and she didnt know her father was still alive.
Other: None
Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)