Jay’s Movie and Music Blog

Making my passions known

Movie Review: Door to Door (2002)

Posted by Jay Medina on January 17, 2007

Door To DoorI accidentally found this movie one very recent sleepless night.  What a find!  As I was looking through the free movie offerings from my digital cable’s On Demand feature, I was torn between this movie and “The Island“; a Michael Caine movie about pirates (written by Peter Benchley) terrorizing the Caribbean in modern day, or as modern as 1980 could be.

How glad I am that I chose Door to Door!  This movie is the inspiring true story of door to door salesman, Bill Porter, played expertly by William H. Macy (Air Force One, Fargo), a master actor of our generation.  Mr. Porter suffers from cerebral palsey from birth, and the movie picks up in the late 50’s, where he is preparing to interview for his first (and only) job with the Watkins Company.  Because of his condition, he is initially turned down, but that doesn’t stop him.  That only makes him more determined; and that determination has not slowed, even to this day.  The underlying message is that any of us can do amazing things, if we have patience and persistence.

The movie was co-written by Macy, and the story covers the four decades in which Mr. Porter has been an active member of his community, selling his company’s products door to door.

In the current age where anything “salesy” is not just frowned upon and rejected wholesale, but truly brings out the worst in people, this story humanizes the role of a salesman, and shows just how and why someone would take on one of the most unwanted and unwelcomed jobs in today’s society.  Quite simply: To make a living.

The story of Bill Porter shows what a true salesman can do.  He is a member of his community, and people know him by name, and he knows each of his customers.  He asks about their children, and how things are going.  Porter is genuine, not slick-selling.  He’s seen children grow into adults, and adults move into new stages in their lives.  He’s seen families end and new ones begin.  All the while, he has provided a convenient service that his customers value, and he makes it easy for them to buy from him.  But most importantly, he has become a part of their lives and they have become part of his. That sort of connection doesn’t come easy in today’s cynical society.

I think this story also hits on a bit of nostalgia for me.  I grew up in the 70’s and the 80’s, and I remember the Shaklee guy who used to come to my grandmother’s home to sell shampoo or stain remover.  The thing is, in today’s age, we can’t go to the grocery store or the even the department store these days, and get stellar service like the door to door salesman is willing to provide.

The movie is smartly cast, with Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect, The Queen) playing Porter’s ailing mother.  Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, Phenomenon) is totally cute and priceless as Porter’s assistant, Shelly.

A piece like this isn’t noted for it’s sound, or even it’s cinematography, it’s about the writing and how well it tells the story.  To me, the writing was solid, as it is a work of art that showcases the fortitude and persisistant spirit of a truly special human being.  If you have the means, rent this movie.  Rent it NOW.  It’s available on Netflix, and you might be able to catch it for free on Time Warner Cable’s free movies on demand. We definitely need more Bill Porters in the world.

Have you seen this movie?  What did you think? 

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6 Responses to “Movie Review: Door to Door (2002)”

  1. matty03 said

    I really enjoyed this movie, too! You are the first person I’ve noticed mention it.

  2. Jay Medina said

    Thank you Matty. It was truly a touching movie, and I had to write about it. Thank you for noticing and for commenting on it. Most of all, thank you for stopping by!

  3. Santhosh said

    Wonderful movie, don’t have any words to describe the story and how gracefully played by Mace. I want the soundtrack of that movie. My CD has gone for a great circle of friends.

    If you have soundtrack of this movie, can anybody forward to me !! … Jay can you help ?? I love that song.

  4. i always look for a good movie review first before watching new movies ::

  5. […] Door to Door Review from Movies and Music: […]

  6. Pamela said

    This is an exceptional movie, so much that a few years ago I purchased several copies online and gave them to neighbors for Christmas! Love, Love, Love this movie, I can’t say enough!

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