Zack Gottsagen

Why Everyone in the WORLD Needs “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

I’ll get to The Peanut Butter Falcon in a minute, but first I need to tell you about someone I loved.
My Aunt Jo Ann was born with Down Syndrome, so I grew up thinking every family had a celebrated member like her. She was different, yes, but she was also our collective heartbeat. She finished our prayers, decided on restaurants when we went out and Jo Ann always got the best piece of chicken at dinner. She was close to all of us in her own way, which is how I knew Jo Ann wasn’t like the shallow depictions we usually see of someone with Downs. She had loads of friends at the school she attended and dreamed of a family. She had healthy crushes on the dreamboats of her day (like Elvis Presley and William Shatner) but Jo Ann had a dose of salt too and would put you in your place if needed (ask me about the time she called me a “fat pig.”).
Jo Ann died from pneumonia last year and my family aches from the loss like it just happened. I visited her grave two weeks ago and still struggled to accept that she wasn’t waiting elsewhere for us, asking to watch Caddyshack again.
That’s why I can’t review The Peanut Butter Falcon without bias. I watch young Zack Gottsagen onscreen and see the embodiment of everything Jo Ann hoped for. Recognition. Acceptance. And a burning desire to be a part of the world everyone else takes for granted.
I smiled through tears all the way through The Peanut Butter Falcon and am urging everyone I know to see it. Not because it’s an urgent message about seeing and appreciating one another, especially those who are different. The Peanut Butter Falcon is definitely that, but it’s also probably the sweetest movie you’ll ever see.
I gave away passes to see The Peanut Butter Falcon and here are unbiased reviews from those lucky folks:
Martha“Thanks so much for the opportunity to see this! A feel-good movie was just what we needed with all the craziness in the world. You could relate to all the characters. I have told all of my fellow special needs teachers to see this. It’s a perfect example of not allowing disabilities dictate people’s expectations. I laughed, cried, and cheered!”
Susan“My husband and I loved the film. I feel the timing is right for this type of feel good movie. The dealing with people with disabilities and overall differences has a good message. AND what a natural performance from newcomer Zack Gottsagen!! The scene near the beginning of his escape and running down the street, covered in liquid soap and wearing nothing but his skivvies, put a smile on my face. Shia LaBeouf’s comeback film? He was well cast. I hope it does well at the box office. Im telling all my friends to run and see it!”
Phylis“Julie, thank you so much for the tickets! I enjoyed the sweet, touching film.”
Tifany “It was the best! This movie was made for me :). It was sweet and beautiful; the story and the setting. The characters felt wonderfully real to me, and I loved their dialogue. The music was great also. The plot was predictable, but I loved it so much that it didn’t detract from the movie. So happy I got to see this!! Thank you!!
LeeAnn“I thoroughly enjoyed the movie! Tear jerker for sure! Loved the strength, fearless actions and cursing! Ha! Left me wanting to see more of how the journey carried on.”
If those stellar reviews aren’t enough to convince you, know that The Peanut Butter Falcon is getting 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning they can’t find a film critic to say something mean about it (YET…because they always do).
Or just see The Peanut Butter Falcon in honor of the Aunt Jo Ann in your life. Better yet, take them to see it with you. (A+)
The Peanut Butter Falcon (PG-13) is now in select theaters, and opening in more each week.

Aunt Jo
“Jo Ann”

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