THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY
Never Give Up on Your Dream
Starring: Regina King, Imani Hakim,
Sydney Mikayla, Brian Tee,
David Haydn-Jones, S. Epatha
Merkerson, Gabrielle Douglas,
Lola Assad, Ashanti Bromfield,
Riele Downs, Kristen Harris,
Dean Armstrong, Stephan James,
Jai Jai Jones, Kyal Rankine
Rating: ** TELEVISION GUIDE **
Runtime: 87 minutes
Distributor: Lifetime Channel
Director: Gregg Champion
Executive Producer: Zev Braun, Gabrielle Douglas,
Natalie Hawkins, Philip Krupp
Producer: David A. Rosemont, Michael
Writer: Sterling Anderson, Maria
Address Comments To:Andrea Wong, CEO/President, Lifetime Entertainment Services
309 West 49th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 424-7000; Fax: (310) 556-7500
The story opens with Gabby Douglas chalking/powdering up her hands before going out on the gymnastics floor to compete. The story then cuts to December 31, 1995 in Newport News, Virginia where Natalie Douglas (Regina King) gives birth to Gabby who is born with an incurable blood disorder. While their four children are still very young, Gabby’s father gets a job out-of-state and packs up the family. However, he loses the job and is unable to afford a place to stay. The father continues to be hopeful about getting work, but after what has been a long cycle of years of poverty, evictions, loans, bad credit, joblessness, and homelessness, Natalie makes a hard decision to work for a better life for her and the children without their father.
Natalie gets a job. In time, she excels as a debt collection specialist, and she and her children are able to move into a modest house in a nice neighborhood. Natalie posts a board for dreams and goals and encourages each of them to put their goal on the board. Gabby (Sidney Mikayla) learns all she can from her older sister about gymnastics with ease and shows a natural ability for it. During the 2008 Olympics, Gabby is mesmerized and inspired by gymnast Shaun Johnson and her coach Liang Chow and believes in her heart he will be her coach one day. Meanwhile, Gabby takes lessons with Dirk (David Haydn-Jones), a local gymnastics coach, who doesn’t train Gabby to her fullest potential.
When an opportunity Gabby calls “fate” brings Olympic coach Liang Chow to her gymnastics school, she’s is all the more determined to go to Iowa to train with him. Her family pulls together to overcome even greater obstacles to support Gabby going to Iowa. Coach Liang even finds a caring host family that will allow Gabby to stay in their home for the next two years to train for the next Olympics.
However, after much hard work, a hamstring injury threatens her Olympic dreams. Gabby struggles with her body, mind and heart, to persevere to get back on track for the Olympics, even giving up at one point. Eventually, she makes it to the Olympic Trials as an alternate and outscores her top opponents. As we all know, Gabby goes on to the 2012 Olympics and wins the gold medal more than once.
THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY is an inspiring story of faith, sacrifice and perseverance. There are a number of heartfelt moments and performances by Regina King as Gabby’s mother, Imani Hakim as Gabby in her teen years, and Brian Tee, who plays Liang Chow. There are only minor, light questionable elements. So, the movie has a strong moral worldview supported by some overt Christian references, including a prayer. THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY is a heartfelt, historical, inspiring movie for the whole family.
The production quality of THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY is good with compelling, heartfelt performances and an inspiring message of faith, sacrifice, and perseverance. The movie has a number of heartfelt moments, with only minor, light questionable elements. Overall, THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY has a strong moral worldview supported by some overt Christian references, including a prayer. THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY is a heartfelt, historical, inspiring movie for the whole family.