The year is 1976. Twelve-year-old Bobby (Dylan McLaughlin) moves to the town of Eagle Rock to live with his Uncle Jeff and Aunt Gayle after his parents are killed. The boy is smart and gets good grades in school. The thing is, he really wants to build a soap box car to race in the derby. His uncle has other plans. He doesn't want Bobby wasting his time on such things and instead puts him to work after school in his hardware store. Jeff and Gayle have no clue how to raise a child, but Gayle reads all the books and is sympathetic to this boy whose life just got turned upside down. Bobby and his father were going to build a car together, and he wants to continue that dream. His uncle, however, wants nothing to do with that nonsense and forbids Bobby to make a car.
Bobby encounters a local man who is seen as an outcast in the town. Jim (John Schneider) is a Vietnam veteran who keeps mainly to himself. He's the guy the kids in town all fear. He is a loner and they see him as threatening. Does he really keep a collection of skeletons in his house?
Bobby desperately wants to build his car and when he discovers that Jim was a soap box winner, he enlists the help of the man who, in the beginning, is reticent about the project. But Bobby is sweet and persistent, and soon the two are working together and Bobby is happier and so is Jim. But in order for him to work on his car, Bobby tells his uncle that he is on the baseball team and needs to practice after school. That lie works well for the boy, as Jeff is happy that Bobby is taking an interest in sports, rather than that soap box nonsense. But what will happen when the secret comes out?
The story focuses on Bobby and Jim, but the relationship between Bobby and his aunt and uncle are important, as they are the only relatives he has left. Together they must forge some bond. Bobby, even when he is working on his car, still misses his parents desperately and keeps looking at their photograph. He knows his uncle is not happy with having him invade their lives. It is only when Jim comes into his life that Bobby finally has the chance to be happy. The only thing left is for Bobby to find happiness with his aunt and uncle. How can they all find a way to live together as a family? Can they find the cooperation, understanding, love and caring it takes to become a loving family?
This is a sweet and touching film for the entire family to view together. You've Got a Friend premieres June 9 at 9/8c on The Hallmark Channel.