Frankie (Jack McElhone), a nine-year-old deaf boy, and his mom, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), live in Scotland with Lizzie's mother. They move around a lot because Lizzie ran away from Frankie's real dad, whom Frankie doesn't know or remember. Lizzie regularly writes her son letters from a make-believe father who works aboard a ship traveling to exotic lands. The ship actually exists, however, and will be arriving in a few days. Instead of telling Frankie the truth, Lizzie pays someone to play the perfect father (Gerard Butler). While Frankie and his "dad" bond, the real father is in a hospital (he was responsible for the abuse that left Frankie deaf) and wants to see his son before he dies. Lizzie wants Frankie to believe the kind, caring imposter is his dad. Lizzie and the fake dad also bond, and after he ships out she finds out he is her friend Marie's brother. The real father's death is reported in the newspaper and the obituary is shown to Frankie. Days or weeks pass, Lizzie goes to the post office to see if her son has written a letter. He did, and in it Frankie tells the make-believe dad that his real father has died. Lizzie realizes her son knows the truth, which leaves the door open for a relationship with Marie's brother when he comes back to town.
Thanks, Lisa E!