Once in a while, a movie comes along that both warms and breaks your heart all at the same time. That’s how we feel about Gigi and Nate. Gigi and Nate is about a young man named Nate Gibson (Charlie Rowe), who at 18 years old is left quadriplegic after a tragic accident. Nate has lost all hope because his life has been altered in such a huge way. That all changes when his mom Claire (Marcia Gay Harden) arranges for him to have a service animal.
It’s not just any service animal, though. Nate’s mom has set him up with Cebus for Independence to get a Capuchin monkey named Gigi. Like Nate, Gigi’s life hasn’t always been easy. Before going to stay at Cebus for Independence, she was rescued from a horrible excuse for a petting zoo in California. The people at Cebus for Independence took care of Gigi and trained her well enough to go and look after someone else in need.
That person, of course, is Nate. Before getting Gigi, Nate was in a very dark place. He was majorly depressed and felt like a burden to his entire family. Gigi not only helps him get stronger physically, but she also provides him with the mental and emotional strength he needs. Over the course of the film, we see Gigi and Nate’s bond grow stronger and stronger. She really becomes his best friend.
Initially, not everyone is completely thrilled with the idea of a monkey living in the house. Especially Nate’s sister Katy (Josephine Langford) and their dad Dan (Jim Belushi). We get it, having a monkey as a service animal is not the ideal situation, and things can happen. Katy and Dan do eventually come around and get used to the idea of a monkey being in Nate’s life once they see for themselves how positively his life has been impacted. Unfortunately, there are still those on the outside of the Gibson family to contend with.
One of those people is a busybody named Chloe (Welker White), who is a huge advocate for animal rights. However, she doesn’t take the best approach to it. Nor does she even seem to care at all about how good Gigi is for Nate.
What makes Gigi and Nate such a good film is that it’s a story that reminds us about hope. It also reminds us that you can overcome any obstacles. Nate was going through something extremely difficult in his life, and he managed to find that hope when Gigi became a part of it. The same could be said for the entire Gibson family. Nate’s parent’s relationship changed dramatically after his accident. Claire basically gave up on everything so that she could take care of Nate. She’s felt alone in it all because Dan has just been focused on work.
What it all boils down to is that Dan was afraid. He wasn’t used to seeing one of his children go through something like this. That was so apparent while Nate was hospitalized. Claire had to be the strong one and make all of the tough decisions that Dan couldn’t. That, in turn, put a strain on their marriage. Dan realizes that by Gigi helping Nate, she’s helping them all.
Now, let’s talk about the cast of Gigi and Nate. Everyone in this film is incredible, but all the props are definitely going to Rowe. His performance was beyond words, and it was both heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. He made me laugh and smile, and he made me cry a whole lot. I was crying 15 minutes into this movie, okay. I advise you to bring all the tissues.
Harden was also incredible as Nate’s mom. She made me feel every emotion from her in the most real way. And of course, you know our girl Langford was great as well. Her sibling dynamic with Nate was so touching. One of my personal favorites was Diane Ladd as Nate’s grandmother Mama Blanche. She delivered a lot of comic relief, and she was so quick-witted.
Lastly, we must talk about Miss Gigi because she was absolutely adorable! You’ll be smiling so much watching her throughout the film. Like we said before, she made us think about what it would be like to have our own pet monkey. Not that we’re getting one because this is a movie. That being said, Gigi had some sweet moments with Nate that had everyone in the theatre saying “Awww.”
All in all, Gigi and Nate is a truly emotional film that will make you really appreciate the things we tend to take for granted in life. Most importantly, the film will give you hope.
Gigi and Nate hits theatres on September 2nd.