An overworked dad, missing out on his kids growing, takes an opportunity to start a “family business” thinking it will draw his family closer together – That is just mistake number one.
The symbol of lug nuts is a meaningful metaphor for Jason Winn’s “Shifting Gears.” As we hear a sage character explain, it is a small, seemingly insignificant thing that holds all the parts together. This is on one level a fun racing story, but more deeply, it’s a story about a father putting his life and family back together. The story focuses on a father, Tom (R. Keith Harris, also the film’s author), whose years at a profitable company are put to a halt when he stands up to a squirrelly “chief executive”. Tom moves the family to a small town, greeted mostly by warm, friendly faces, with the exception of a few seedy characters. Winn and actor-writer Harris provide a refreshing warmth to the small town, so that we grow fully connected to the relationships between characters.The crux of the film lies on the relationship between Tom and his son, Jeremy (Adam Hicks), supported by a delightful supporting cast. We enjoy these character arcs as father and son explore what it means to allow children to follow their own path, and for all of us to pursue our calling. This important theme is showcased well in film; Winn and Harris have delivered an excellent story for family audiences. “Shifting Gears” moves swiftly, and its attention to the action scenes in races will delight all ages. The film also features fun turns from favorite character actors, like M.C. Gainey, John Ratzenberger (from various Pixar films), and M. Emmett Walsh. “Shifting Gears” is about family, and it is about being a steward to others, not just to oneself; true servant leadership. The film is paced well, and the action will keep audiences watching. Don’t miss this Dove Approved film with a really good heart!