I have seen a lot of movies with different plots, themes and meanings, but the “The Ultimate Gift” film by stood out among the others. It had a very special plot and took me a while to fully understand the meaning the film gave. The movie began with the funeral of Red Stevens, a very wealthy and successful entrepreneur. But it was interrupted by the loud engine of his grandson that showed up late, Jason Stevens. Jason a self centered person who has no respect for himself and his family. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and never had to work for anything in his life. Jason has a lot of hatred toward his grandfather because his father died in a plane crash working for Red and Jason blamed it on him After the funeral, the relatives of Red Stevens gathered in a room to hear the will and what they would receive. Red Stevens had four children, a daughter and three sons, but one of his sons, the father of Jason, died in a tragic accident. The lawyer reading the will is Red’s best friend that he met fifty years ago, Mr. Hamilton. As Mr. Hamilton began to read the will, the children of Red were anticipating receiving complete ownership of their fathers businesses, but were shocked to hear that they were only given salaries, not ownership. After hearing the disappointing news, they barged out of the room frustrated. Then once again, Jason shows up late to hear the will. Mr. Hamilton haves everybody in the room leave besides Jason. He tells Jason that his grandfather has a very special gift and plays a video of his grandfather. His grandfather tells Jason that he has been given everything and is taking the important things in life for granite. Red has set up a series of challenges for Jason; each challenge should teach him twelve very special gifts that will lead to the ultimate gift.
The first gift that Red wanted Jason to learn was the gift of work. Since Jason had to never work a day in his life, he was sent to Texas to help one of Red’s friends, Gus, to help do some work on his ranch. When Jason arrived at Gus’s house, he thought it was a waste of his time. There was no TV, no cell-phone service and nothing but open land for fifty miles. The next day Gus woke up Jason at five o’ clock to begin his work on the ranch, but Jason called him crazy and went back to sleep. That was probably the first time he woke up that early in his life. When Jason finally got out of bed and got dressed in work clothes, Gus drove him out in the ranch to plant post. Gus showed him how to plant the post and told him they had to be even and eight feet apart from each other. When Jason finished setting up all the post he would be finished and will receive the gift his grandfather had for him. The first few days Jason did not work. Then Jason realized that maybe if he did the work he was supposed to do he would receive the gift. So Jason decided to plant the post. When he was finished, Gus came to see how he did. As soon as Gus saw the post he pulled them out and told him to do it again because the posts were uneven and not eight feet apart. Then the next day Gus walked down stairs to have breakfast and he sees Jason finishing up his plate. Gus was shocked to see Jason awake before him. After breakfast Jason was determined to the set posts correctly. He did not stop working until he finished the job which shows that Jason has the capability to accomplish his goals if he applies himself. After Gus sees Jason’s finished work on the posts he congratulates him and told him he was finished here. Gus drove Jason to the airport and as soon as Jason got out of the car he asked Gus for the gift. Gus laughed and drove off. Jason returned to Mr. Hamilton’s office and watched another video of his grandfather. The video told Jason that you can do anything if you work for it. After the video he started to complain that he had to physical labor and received nothing for doing it.
After learning the gift of work Jason asked Mr. Hamilton what his next challenge was and he told Jason that he would find out. The next day Jason drove in the parking garage of his apartment. He went up stairs, opened his door and saw that everything inside his apartment was gone. He ran downstairs and saw a tow truck towing his car away. Jason went back to Mr. Hamilton’s office and watched the next video from his grandfather. His grandfather said that he was the life of the party but he had no true friends. Mr. Hamilton told Jason to come back at the end of the month with one real friend and he would learn the gift of friendship. One night, Jason took out his girl friend to a very nice restaurant for dinner. When the bill came Jason gave the waiter his credit card. The waiter came back and told Jason that the credit card was rejected. He shrugged and pulled out another one of his many credit cards to pay the bill. But the waiter came back again and told Jason the same thing he did before. Realizing that he couldn’t pay the bill because he was broke, Jason asked his girl friend to cover this dinner. She looked at Jason and felt insulted that he asked her to pay the bill and left. After dinner, Jason started calling his fake friends for a place to stay and some money, but everyone ignored him and hung up on him. Later that night Jason went to his mother’s house for a warm place to sleep. When his mother answered the door she denied him a place to stay because she was told not to. Jason wondered around the park and had no other option but to sleep on the bench in the park. The next day Jason met this little girl named Emily and her mother and acted ignorant towards them. He asked them if they could be his friends for a while to help him out and in return he would take them to Disney World. Emily called Jason pathetic and left. Emily and her mother return to the par the next day to eat lunch, but they were disturbed by a homeless man. Jason sees that the homeless man is harassing Emily and her mother, so he gets the homeless man to leave them alone. In return for helping to get rid of the homeless man, Emily and her mother invite Jason to lunch. During lunch they talk about Jason’s the challenges his grandfather has arranged for him to receive his part of the will. He tells them that he needs a true friend to come with him and they agree. Emily and her mother go with Jason to Mr. Hamilton’s office. Mr. Hamilton was shocked to see that Jason has made a friend. After the meeting Emily told Jason to meet her at the same time tomorrow for lunch, but he laughed and walked away. Jason didn’t want to be friends with her; he used her to get him through to the next gift.
The next video that Jason’s grandfather talked about was the gift of money. Jason was given a bill for the work he did on Gus’s ranch and he was to spend it on someone with a real problem which is also the gift of giving. Jason goes out and heads to the park planning on giving some of his money to the homeless man that wonders around there. But when Jason finds the homeless man, he runs off and drops a women’s purse. Jason goes over and looks through to see who it belongs to. He finds out that the purse belongs to Alexia, Emily’s mother. While looking through the purse Jason saw bills that are from the apartment rent for large amounts due. So Jason went to the hospital to return her purse. He asked around for her and was sent to Emily’s room. Jason walked in and saw Emily and noticed that she had a cancer because she had no hair. Shocked to see Emily with no hair, he placed the purse down and left the room. Leaving Emily’s room, Jason ran into Emily’s mother. She asked why Jason was here but she saw the look in his eyes and new that he saw Emily. Jason asked what was wrong with Emily and Alexia told him that she had leukemia. Jason offered to help her pay their bills but she didn’t want his help. But Jason decides to donate the money to Emily and her mother to anyway. This shows that Jason can think about others besides himself.
Jason returns to Mr. Hamilton’s office and ask to see the next video of his grandfather right away. Mr. Hamilton plays the video. Red tells Jason that he should get the whole family together for Thanksgiving dinner for the gift of family. Red also says the best way to solve a problem is to confront it and the problem Jason has is his family and Jason will learn the gift of the problem. Jason immediately denies doing it but he has too. Instead of going by himself to Thanksgiving he decides to ask Alexia. He goes to the hospital and finds her there. They started to talk and Emily’s mother said that someone paid her bills. She knew that Jason paid her bill and she told him thank you. That simple thank you she gave to Jason is an example of the gift of gratitude. Then Jason asked her to join him at Thanksgiving but she told him no because she wanted to spend the holiday with her daughter. Later that day Emily and her mother are reading in the hospital until Emily saw the smirk on her mother’s face and asked her what was on her mind. Emily guessed that her mother was thinking about Jason. Her mother told her that Jason invited him to Thanksgiving dinner with his family but told him no because she wanted to spend it with her. But Emily wanted her mother to spend Thanksgiving with Jason and made her go with him. So Jason and Alexia went to Thanksgiving dinner at Jason’s uncle’s house. During the dinner all the family talked about was money and who has the most. Jason grew tired of hearing his family and there selfishness and left. He realized that his family will never care about anything else besides money. To solve the problem in his family, Jason tells them that they are all pathetic.
Another video is played for Jason. Red talks about learning and how Jason needs to learn to learn, he doesn’t know everything. There are more things in the world to learn besides knowing how to spend money. So Jason decides to visit a library that his grandfather owns in Ecuador. He flew down and met up with a tour guide. The tour guide took him to the village where the library was and Jason entered the library and started reading. Later that night some of the village people invited Jason to a bond fire in honor of Red Stevens. They shared stories and laughed most of the night. Jason learned the gift of laughter at this bond fire and learned how it feels to have a fun time without spending money and being surrounded by fake friends.
The three gifts that Jason learned are the gift of love, laughter and the gift of the day. The best example I saw during the movie when Jason expressed these gifts was the day he dedicated to Emily. Jason grew very close to Emily and Alexia over the months. Since Jason missed Christmas because of some series of unfortunate events, he wanted to make it up to Emily and Alexia. He flew Emily and Alexia out to Texas for a surprise. When they got there, they drove to Gus’s ranch to see his yard covered with snow and his house lighten up with lights. During the day Jason did everything that Emily wanted to do. One of the activities that Emily did was go horseback riding. While horse back riding Jason told Alexia that he didn’t know that Emily liked horses. Alexia started to cry and said she doesn’t like horses; she’s the one who does. This touched me to see a girl of her age show so much love and unselfishness towards her mother. Later that night, Jason and Emily were sitting on the couch by the fire talking. Emily told Jason that she wanted her mother to have someone after she passes away and wanted Jason to be that someone. Jason then asked Emily what her dream was and she told him that her dream was to have a perfect day and that she was just finishing it. Even though Jason didn’t have any dreams for himself, he helped someone who really needed it to complete their dreams and make the last day of her the life the best day. Emily dies the next day in the hospital of her cancer. Jason felt a lot of pain when she passed because that was his best friend, his real friend. She accepted him as a friend for who he is, not the number of credit cards he has.
At the end of the year Jason came in to watch the last video of his grandfather. Red told Jason that he was sorry for everything he has done to him and hopes that what he learned over the year will help him live a more spiritual life. Red tells Jason good bye and that’s the last Jason will hear from his grandfather. At that moment, Jason felt bad that he acted like a moron towards his grandfather and wishes he could take it back. Jason shows the first sign of love towards his grandfather when he cries at the end of the video. As said Jason would receive a prize if he succeeded his grandfather’s challenges. Mr. Hamilton gave Jason an envelope; Jason opened it, and found a one million dollar check and was given control of his entire grandfather’s estate. Jason decides to build a cancer center for those who are diagnosed with cancer. He called it Emily’s home. All the gifts that were taught equal up to answer the question what is the Ultimate gift. The answer is that there is no correct answer; all the gifts are needed to live with a complete soul.