Color of Love (2021 Lifetime)
Cast: Deborah Joy Winans, Michael Brown, Sarah Abbott
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Inspired by a true story. Monica Henderson, an African-American widow with two kids, has so much love to give, she often fosters children who need a home. When she finds out that Peter and Rachel, the white brother and sister she fostered twice before, fled from their latest foster home, she takes them in again. Fearing the kids are in danger of slipping through the cracks of a flawed system, she begins the process of adopting them. Despite Monica’s mother and her boyfriend Theo’s beliefs that Peter and Rachel maybe be better off with a white family, Monica’s love for the kids puts the question of what makes a family to the test.. (2021)
Monica, or Mrs. H, is a school vice principal who advocates for underserved students and a fan of tough (but fair) love. When she is not working, she raises her two kids, CJ and Leah, with her hot AF EMT boyfriend, Theo. They pray at the table, which is different for Lifetime. (Unless it is a Bad Sister or Nightmare Nun or something.)
Cut to a teenage girl named Rachel and her kid brother Peter. They run away from their foster home in search of a better life. They live on the streets and call for help from their social worker, Stephanie. Stephanie struggles to find placement for the siblings because they have run away multiple times.
The kids are emergency placed with Mrs. Monica. (Who they have been with before and loved.) Stephanie removed them from Mrs. Monica’s care because she thought she had found them a forever home, but it didn’t work out. They talk about the foster care system, and Theo shares his terrible experience in the foster care system growing up. He had trouble being placed because he was black and a teenager.
After Monica sees how badly their foster parents have treated Rachel and Peter, she decides to adopt them. Theo is no onboard and worries that a black family adopting white kids isn’t right. Her mother also thinks that it could be trouble being a black woman raising white children. Monica doesn’t want race to factor into this decision and just wants to give the kids a stable home.
Leah and CJ fully support Monica’s decision, even though they face bullying from their peers. The kids aren’t the only ones facing bullying. Stephanie’s boss tells her to keep looking for a “more appropriate” match for Peter and Rachel. He says, “White kids should have white parents.” Stephanie and Monica try to ensure the kids are placed with Monica.
When Rachel gets bullied more at school, she lashes out and gets into trouble. Monica learns that Rachel has been struggling in school, and Stephanie neglected to keep her eyes on Rachel’s grades. The incident gets back to Stephanie’s supervisor, and he demands that Rachel and Peter be removed from Monica’s care. Rachel is upset she trusted the system only to be let down again.
Monica goes to church and prays to God to help her. Pastor Brooks overhears her and puts in a call with a reporter who plans to help Monica adopt those kids by getting the story out there.
The press mob Monica outside the courthouse due to the hit news story. Monica testifies as to why she is fit to adopt the children. Peter and Rachel take the stand too. Rachel is the more effective speaker of the two. Everyone prays while the judge takes a recess—the judge rules in their favor. Monica can adopt Peter and Rachel.
Rachel makes lasagna for her new family; it is a recipe from her grandmother. The family prays and enjoys a meal together—the end.
Minority Report: Most of the cast features Black actors.
This movie is another example of Lifetime embracing a more Hallmark aesthetic around the holidays. Not my cup of tea, but it was well done. At least this movie featured black actors and tackled race issues.
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