I love storytelling.
Gerald and I mostly express our passion for story through our music,
but in our early careers, we loved creating plays and films.
So today, I'm excited to offer a review of a new film:
I Still Believe.
In the world of Christian music, Jeremy Camp is a superstar. Millions of albums sold, gold records, sold out tours, shelves of awards - the stuff of music career dreams. We see him and hear him, and we think we know him. But do we ever really know someone else's story?
I Still Believe introduces us to a young Jeremy, leaving his loving family for his first week of college. He's passionate about music, and, like most people in college, he discovers first love.
Melissa is smart and quick, and full of a beautiful faith. On their first date, she takes him to a planetarium to witness the beauty of the stars. As they gaze at the wonders of the galaxy, she says,
"This is the definition of wonder...
The God of a trillion stars knows my name,
and He has a destiny just for me."
Jeremy and Melissa are played by KJ Apa and Britt Robertson. They're natural and charismatic, with lots of chemistry. The filmmakers did a lovely job of capturing first love - flirting to test the waters, wanting to know exactly how the other person feels, weighing every word the other person says, and losing hours to just spending time together.
The supporting cast is also fantastic. It's great to see a bit of "Canadian Content" with superstar Shania Twain as Jeremy's mother. The always wonderful Gary Sinise is understated perfection as Jeremy's Dad.
And, of course, the soundtrack is fantastic! Music plays a key role, and the performances are beautifully woven into the storyline.
Because I love good storytelling, I'm not giving you any spoilers,
but I will say this:
wear your waterproof mascara!!
I love stories that show people of faith who aren't weird. You now what I mean? So often, Christians are portrayed as 2-dimensional. We're either demonic villains or Bible-thumpers.
The families in this film are just normal people who are also Christian. I truly appreciated seeing people of faith going through the stuff of life without perfection or pat answers.
The film's website describes this as a story "of love and loss that proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing.”
Trust me: they don't shy away from the tragedy or the testing.
I'm not kidding...
Before watching I Still Believe, I thought the target audience was teens and young adults, but I'd definitely broaden that demographic now. Without revealing too much, this story resonated with my own story, and I found myself deeply moved by so many scenes. If you've also experienced "love and loss," and wondered where God is in it all, you'll definitely be moved by this film, too.
If you're interested, here's the trailer, as well as a special video from Jeremy.
Have you seen I Still Believe?
What did you think?
Leave your thoughts (but no spoilers!) in the comments...