There is a misconception out there that if a drama is going to have any significant impact, it has to be as gritty and “realistic” as possible.
I’m glad those types of movies exist, but I would argue that there is an important space for films that tackle the same subject matter but present a more aspirational reality.
“Steps” is one of those movies and while its super-hopeful look at homelessness, alcoholism and forgiveness may generate its share of cynical eye rolls, it gets by with some excellent performances and solid work behind the camera.
“Steps” is the story of Brian Coleman (Rob Morgan, a soulful actor who stood out in the indie rodeo drama “Bull”), an attorney who is shot during a mugging and becomes a belligerent alcoholic during his recovery.
His fiancé Wendy (Tia Dionne Hodge) throws him out before he can even meet his son Omar (Darius Kaleb) and Brian proceeds to live the next decade of his life on the streets of New York City.
Things begin to change when Brian meets Marvin, a pastor who sees his potential and gives him a job and place to stay in his church.
Brian goes into recovery and begins the uphill climb to earn Wendy’s forgiveness and become a part of his son’s life.
Brian also finds himself confronted with the prospect of forgiving the man who shot him (Walter Fauntleroy) and sent his life into a tailspin and learns that before he can be forgiven, he has to learn to forgive in kind.
Co-directors Rock Davis and Jay Rodriguez Jr. do a good job of giving us a street-level view of New York while keeping the story (and some of its unnecessary side plots) moving along.
While the mega-happy ending may not ring true for everyone, “Steps” works hard to earn it and gives us a redemption story worth cheering for.
While it’s true that things may not work out so perfectly in the real world, there should be a place for movies that give us something to shoot for.
“Steps” is not rated but features violence, adult situations and drug use.