Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No Greater Love (2009)

IMDb plot summary: IMDb plot summary: Jeff and Heather Baker were life long sweethearts and happily married... for a time. But at her greatest moment of weakness, Heather abandons Jeff, forcing Jeff to raise their young son alone. Ten years later, through a God ordained encounter, Jeff and Heather meet again. They must wrestle with forgiveness, reconciliation and the pressing of the Savior on their hearts. 
Directed by Brad J. Silverman. Starring Anthony Tyler Quinn, Danielle Bisutti, Jay Underwood, and Eric Bivens-Bush.

(Spoilers ahead, I discuss some central plot points in detail.)

Christian movies and I don't really get along, even though I am a Christian myself. Most of the time they're preachy sermons wrapped up in a contrived plot and characters devoid of personality, and they nearly always leave me not only cold but rolling my eyes.

This one did not change my mind.

For one thing, the plot was unbelievably confusing to follow -- and not because it was complicated, but because the writing and directing told the actual plot poorly. It took me almost an hour into the movie before I figured out what had happened between him and his first wife. The movie wasn't hiding it on purpose, it just didn't know how to actually tell that story clearly.

And the amount of weird plotholes here just makes it even more complicated.  Just one example: A woman works for at LEAST a full week (possibly more, I can't remember how long their summer camp was) with a child who has the same name as the child she abandoned ten years ago, and when she finds out, surprise surprise, that he IS her child, a friend consoles her, "There's no way you could have known." Really? REALLY? No way at all? Nothing that would even make her suspect a little bit? (Her response: "We even liked the same pizza." Because apparently THAT should have clued her in, but the kid's name shouldn't have?

On top of that, these characters do not have any personality. Like... at all. I couldn't for the life of me describe any of them. As a result, I certainly couldn't connect to any of them. I had a conversation with my dad the other day about the fact that Christian movies do the same thing that I feel Christian worship does: in an attempt to connect to everyone, it keeps everything vague and generic and refuses to assign specifics to anyone or anything. As a result, NOTHING about it feels real or genuine and I can't connect to anyone. I don't care about these characters getting together because I don't know who they ARE.

Christian movies have acquired better actors over the years, which is nice. But now it's time for them to acquire some decent screenwriters who know how to tell an actual story with actual people. Because even the best actors in the world can't compensate for sloppy writing.

1 star.

Flickchart: #1833 out of 2199, below Atlantis: The Lost Empire and above Chicken Little.

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