Dinner and A Movie Monday – Running For Grace

I haven’t done Dinner and A Movie in a long time. Life just got in the way. And I’m out of practice and behind. Bear with me. I’m going to try to do better.

This is a coming of age movie I watched a while back and never posted because I couldn’t think of a recipe to pair it with. I decided to share in anyway.

Running for Grace is a 2018 American romance film starring Ryan Potter, Matt Dillon, Jim Caviezel and Olivia Ritchie. Originally released on August 17, 2018 in the United States, the film was shot on location in Hawaii. The film was shot on location in Hawaii and at Kona-based Honua Studios and originally titled Jo, the Medicine Runner.

It’s set in the Kona Coffee Belt of Hawaii during the 1920s. Japanese immigrant laborers and the white upper-class live in a rigidly classist society, an orphan of mixed-race lineage called a hafu, finds himself ostracized by both groups until a white doctor from the mainland is hired as a physician for workers on the plantation owned by Mr. Danielson . Doc has Jo run medicine and translate for him on the island.

Ten years later, Jo falls in love with the plantation owner’s daughter, Grace. They interact a few times at the Danielson’s home under the guise of treating her ankle injury. Mr. Danielson meets a new doctor and invites him to tend to the white upper-class residents of the island, even though his company is going bankrupt. Throughout this time, Doc has been taking several secret trips to see a lawyer about adoption, even though illegal at that time. Jo is impressed by the new doctor and his car and asks him to take him on as an assistant. However, when they go to treat Mr. Danielson’s accountant, who had poisoned himself as a suicide attempt, Jo realizes the doctor is a charlatan. Dr. Reyes later expresses a romantic interest in Grace, and her father, seeing it as an opportunity to save his plantation and way of life, encourages the proposal.

Mr. Danielson sets out on a trip to Hilo to discuss his looming bankruptcy with the bank, intending to inform them that Grace is marrying into a wealthy family. Along the way, he accidentally falls into a ditch and hits his head. Doc and Jo are the first to reach him and, on inspection, Doc fears his head injury is severe. He tells Jo to find Dr. Reyes so that they can use his motorcar to transport him. At his home, Mr. Danielson and his mother insist Dr. Reyes treat his injury and that Doc and Jo leave. Moments later, Grace comes crying out of the house announcing that her father is dead. When Grace and Jo embrace, and Grace’s grandmother scolds her and pulls her away.

That night, Doc and Jo are walking back to their house. Dr. Reyes tries to run over the Jo. Doc pushes him out of the way, gets hit himself and dies shortly afterward. Dr. Reyes threatens to kill Jo if he doesn’t leave town. Later, Jo returns to his mother’s house and is found by the Hilo lawyer who informs him that Doc’s adoption was a success. Jo gets to Grace and Dr. Reyes wedding in time to stop it. He and Grace get their happy ever after.

This is one of those sappy, idealistic movies where Evil seems destined to win, but Good always triumphs in the end. I especially enjoy the lush, beautiful scenery on the islands. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I can understand the draw.

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