What You Need To Know:
(NA, L, S, A, D, Ho, M) Pagan worldview with secular-humanist morality; 6 obscenities, 1 profanity & 2 vulgarities; illegitimacy, implied adultery & implied promiscuity; alcohol abuse; marijuana & heroin abuse; minor homosexual character; and, theft & lying.
In A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE, a contemporary update of George Eliot’s classic novel, SILAS MARNER, Steve Martin portrays the bitter miser who’s life and heart are changed when he adopts an orphaned child. The victim of adultery many years earlier, Martin’s character, Michael McCann, goes into a reclusive lifestyle with no solace but drink and the gold coins he has been hoarding. When a child is orphaned and crawls to his door, he shelters and raises her as his own. McCann’s long-time rival, a newly-elected congressman and natural father of the child, makes legal claim to her and jeopardizes their life together.
Anyone familiar with SILAS MARNER will spot the parallels immediately in A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. Regrettably, as is evident by the title, all the Christian theological references in the 19th century novel have been removed. The earlier portions of the film serve the novel well, but plausibility later falls apart. Martin turns in a performance with pathos and humor, but his portrait of a father every child would love to have is a little impractical. There are mature themes of adultery and illegitimacy and depictions of drug abuse, but only a minimal amount of objectionable language.