There is a conversation in this film/movie in which ‘Cooper’ (Terence Hardy Jr) says, “Come on Stuart, the Old Testament?” And to which ‘Gameboy’ (played by Creagon Dow) adds, “Yeah this is the now, not the then.” Stuart the Church Youth Group leader (played by Sean Astin) replies, “Guys, you might be surprised to find out how it applies to us.” And there within lies the truth about this movie itself.Set in the modern day, this movie is about a small church youth group who go away on a camping weekend together and how their youth group leader uses the book of Hosea to speak into their current situations.
And it really is an excellent, and also simplistic, film/movie with good, healthy, encouraging and yes even challenging messages presented through a very inviting storyline.
For those of us who live in Europe – or certainly outside of America – one of the observations which I can make about the recent batch of excellent Christian movies coming out of America – It seems they are the forerunners in this improved approach – is that a great deal of them are very ‘american’ in their style, setting and content. And whilst there is nothing specifically wrong with this and whilst it it is understandable, there are times, I have top admit, when I watch a movie and as good as it’s message is, I do wonder if the ability to relate to it is not somehow limited as a result of the differences in culture and life experiences.
With this film however there is very little problem in this respect, as – take away the accents – this could be set in any country. And thus the ability for a European youth to relate to the characters in this film/movie is, in the opinion of this writer, far greater.
Set in the modern day – but flashing back through the retelling of the biblical story (although I should point out – as is recognized and acknowledged within the film itself, that some aspects of the ‘flashback story-telling’ are not actually biblical and are added for scene-setting purposes) it affords us the opportunity to see both ‘times’ and yet how God’s word is just as relevant and applicable today as it was then.
‘Imdb.com‘ writes of this film/movie’s storyline(s)…
When a confrontation occurs amongst the youth group, Stuart takes the opportunity to share with the group the touching story of the Old Testament prophet Hosea.
And certainly this is the main storyline of this movie, but there is of course so much more to it than that. And the film/movie is, in the opinion of this writer, well worth watching for any youth group or young Christian today.
What this film does not have – and trust me I am so refreshed and blessed by this – is fast moving, dramatic CGI sequences, any violence or bad language. It is what it is and it stands tall and confident in its integrity and purity.
Something which is only confirmed and enhanced by quality acting and ‘real’ characters with whom you can easily relate.
There is a refreshing and inviting ‘naturalness’ to the portrayal of the characters – not only the modern-day ones but also the biblical ones. But then with names such as Sean Astin, Elijah Alexander, Kenton Duty, Patty Duke, Erin Bethea, Sammi Hanratty, Tehmina Sunny and an excellent performance by Savannah Jade, what would you expect?
It is quite simply a very good, very nice (and yes I dislike what that word has become too) demonstrating the need and the application of Amazing Love – Unconditional Love. And I would certainly recommend it.
Oh and just one more thing on the subject of non-biblical content which is added or inserted to biblical stories before I close. It seems to be the case – forgive me if I am wrong – that Hollywood and other such film makers have got it into their heads that ‘artistic license’ affords them freedom to take a biblical story and twist and corrupt it out of almost all scriptural recognition. This is not only offensive to some of us but is extremely harmful and misleading/misinforming.
I mentioned above that, “as is recognized and acknowledged within the film itself, that some aspects of the ‘flashback story-telling’ are not actually biblical and are added for scene setting purposes”. I am happy to say that in my opinion these neither twist or corrupt the scriptural account or the main meaning of the story. But then other more puritanical reviewers may disagree.
Written By: Dave Christiano, Rich Christiano, Greg Mitchell
Directed By: Bill McAdams Jr
Starring: Sean Astin, Elijah Alexander, Kenton Duty,
Genre: Drama, Christian
Released: November 06th, 2012 (USA)
Runtime: 80 mins
Age Rating: NR
Controversial Language: None
Nudity and/or Sexual Content: None
Potentially Disturbing Scenes: None.
For Faith and Ful-film-ent Rating: 8/10 ††††††††††