Jason (Timothy J. Cox) is a recently widowed father, trying to find new love while dealing with the struggle of balancing his work and social life with the fragile relationship with his young son Frankie (Joseph Di Stefano). Written and directed by April Schroer, also starring Monica Servellon.
It’s often that you get stories of widowed or abandoned mothers dealing with the harsh reality of their situation, directed and written by men but it’s not so often you get the opposite, a story of a widowed father lead by a female film-maker, it’s an interesting change of perspective. However, don’t think this will be a dark tale about loss, that’s not the intention; it’s a simple tale of father and son connecting after their relationship has been changed, not dwelling on how it is broken but looking forward. Cox is the typical father, left unknowing after the death of his wife and unsure how or potentially almost unwilling to build something new with his son. It’s not new territory, and the character is exactly what you’d expect, a little brash with his child, not entirely focused until he realises it is the wrong way to act, although the slight predictability doesn’t damage the story. Stefano does well, he manages to avoid feeling too cloying or obvious as can be the problem with many child actors with similar roles and has a good on-screen relationship with Cox.
Surprisingly the two of them don’t make for the most sympathetic of characters, there is not exactly a tug on the heartstrings with the loss of the mother, with the exception perhaps of one longing look at an old photo. Equally surprising that there is a predominant lack of emotion in general, again it is not intended to be dark or heart-breaking but you would have expected to see a little more emotion to give more weight to the father, son relationship. Instead, it aims for a very simple message, a child’s need for a connection with their parent, to feel included, wanted and seen; which is an almost slightly unusual choice of direction to take but there is definite value. The writing is solid but has one moment where it shines, adding in a little humour and surprise which is very enjoyable to watch.
Overall, Sky’s the Limit feels surprisingly light-hearted for a film surrounding a loss and rebuilding of a relationship but it does have a good and positive message as well as having a slight funny edge. It does fall into some stereotype traps but it does not lessen the film, there’s a clear and simple aim, which is realised in a pleasing way.
You can watch Sky’s the Limit on YouTube right now: