I Still Believe (2020)

Movie Info

General Info

Rating
PG
Run Time
1 hour 55 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Violence
0 / 10
Language
1 / 10
Sex / Nudity
1 / 10
Star Rating
★★★½

Relevant Quotes

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. 

— Romans 8:28

Movie Review

Jeremy calls upon Melissa in her dorm. (c) Lionsgate

The new film of brother directors Andrew and Jon Erwin (I Can Only Imagine)  is also based on a true story, as well as being about a highly successful Christian musician. Jeremy Camp (K.J. Appa) has sold millions of records and garnered numerous awards as a Christian musician. Thousands have heard him speak about his first wife, and now even more will see the story unfold in this heart-felt film designed to sell still more albums of Camp. This film might be considered the commercial counterpart to those big box political-savvy pastors who have traded their values for a relationship with our current president.

The story begins as a pleasant boy meets girl with the young Camp leaving his Indiana home with the guitar his pastor father has just given him and enrolling at the Orange County Bible college in California where songwriter Jean-Luc (Nathan Parsons) of the Kry is performing. Jeremy talks his way into serving as a temporary roadie for the singer, and as he stands ready to pass on a fresh guitar to the singer he spots a girl in the audience who seems to glow with purity. She is Melissa Henning (Britt Robertson), who returns his interest when he clumsily introduces himself, but also reveals that she has been in a relationship with Jean-Luc. Overcoming any scruples, Jeremy presses his suit, telling her that it is destiny that has brought them together. They manage to keep their relationship secret for a while, and then…Later, when Melissa is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the now rising star talks about Melissa at his concerts and asks his audience to add their prayers to his. Miraculously, she goes into remission, and Jeremy marries Melissa. However, on their honeymoon, the cancer reappears, and despite fervent prayers, succumbs.

The grief-stricken Jeremy is so upset that back home he smashes his guitar. The scene between him and his father is perhaps the most poignant in the film, the father refusing to justify God but reassuring his son that he is still present with him. Most helpful to Jeremy is Melissa’s acceptance of her impending death and stating that if her life leads to the betterment of a single person, then it has all been worth it. Certainly a good thought for us all.

There is no subtlety to this film, so its appeal will be limited to believers, especially those who are female. The songs are listenable, though to this writer, not as memorable as others I have heard. The film follows what seems to be a trend in that Appa does his own singing. Aside from that father-son talk about God and faith and tragedy, the best part of the film is the obvious chemistry between the two stars. They often say far more in their looks than any amount of dialogue can. This is a film far better than what the low ratings of all the Metacritics have given it, but will not show up on VP’s Best Films list

This review will be in the April issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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