The premise of this movie is good enough: it is a redemption story of a spoiled rich kid who has to learn some life lessons to become a better person. In particular, he has to learn there's a lot more to life than money. There are several mini-lessons that the lead character is supposed to learn, and the lessons themselves are in fact good lessons to learn. There's nothing wrong with using a movie format to showcase valid ethical principles.
But the writing, acting, directing, storyline, plot devices, dialog, and other aspects of the execution leave a lot to be desired. All aspects of this film betray an amateur level of skill and experience in film-making. That's not a terrible thing, I suppose. If you accept this as an amateur-quality film, you can forgive it for coming across as such.
But the whole movie comes across as an extended Christian Facebook meme (probably written in all caps, with a note at the bottom saying something like "How many of you love God enough to forward this to all your friends?"), or like one of those contrived emails forwarded (over and over) from your sweet and elderly aunt who wants to remind everyone who deeply she believes Jesus loves them.
The lines written for the child, Emily, are meant to be sassy and unexpectedly insightful for a child. She's kind of the all-knowing truth-teller in this story. It's an improbable setup, and unfortunately nothing about this plot device comes across in the least bit believable. They are lines obviously written by an adult, and the acting by the child and others in the scenes simply doesn't work. But again, seen from an amateur perspective, some of that is forgivable.
What may bother me most about the movie is that the story arc actually ends up completely undercutting and essentially negating the original moral premise (or what I thought was the original moral premise) by the time the film is over. Rather than concluding with the idea that life can be good and ethical without wealth, it ends up teaching some sort of Prosperity Gospel idea (the idea that "righteousness" will be rewarded in measurable worldly gains, i.e. wealth). It turns out that morality of wealth itself is not examined or challenged in this film, despite the many scenes in which wealthy people are painted as superficial, petty, and unethical. The film does not challenge where the wealth came from (oil, in this case, which is dripping in moral dilemmas), and the film does not challenge the idea of so much wealth ending up in so few hands. Wealth itself is an ethical topic worth dissecting, especially in the context of Christianity, which this film does a heavy-handed job of promoting. "Blessed are the poor," said the original Christian, and "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
So much for those ideas. The makers of this movie subscribe to a selectively abbreviated version of their own faith tradition.