Perhaps one or two plot holes are to be expected in a production company's debut film. Among the things slipping through the cracks here: If Sam and Joe were such inseparable childhood friends, why did they fall so completely out of touch? If Sam is just a sometimes-children’s-book author, how does she have enough money to live on a huge farm (with animals) without ever appearing to work? Why did Joe suddenly, miraculously recognize God’s love in the midst of his solitary confinement in prison (he literally goes from anxiously pacing in his cell to standing peacefully as a stream of heavenly light pours through the door)?

Joe is also not very interested in doing dialysis for his kidney condition, rather opting to wince, sweat, and continue his conversation with a friend or child who conveniently doesn’t notice that Joe is clearly in pain. He has a major medical emergency near the end of the film because of this failure to take care of himself, and one can’t help feeling it was simply because he wouldn’t take the time.

This movie will be enjoyed by many Christian families (the obvious intended audience). While the film’s proponents and producers are encouraging Christians to invite their non-believing friends, I don't see it catching on in the secular market. However, Christians need the film’s messages just as much as anyone. Sometimes we need a reminder to "always walk on the clouds" – so we can remember that the sun still exists. Sometimes we need to remember to love others unconditionally, just as Christ first loved us.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Characters are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
  • Language/Profanity: A few racial slurs (i.e. “cracker”).
  • Sex/Nudity: None.
  • Mature Themes: Billy Crawford’s murder is a theme throughout the film, as is Joe’s debilitating health condition. Death and violence are themes addressed at length. Also discussed are fatherlessness, poverty, abandonment, racism, and social injustice.
  • Violence: The film’s plot revolves around a murder, but it is not explicitly shown. Guns, gunfire, and gunshot wounds are shown throughout the movie, but none graphic. A few scenes of prison violence, including knives, blood, and fist-fighting, but again, nothing too graphic.
  • Religion/Morals: General Christianity and Christian morals pervade the film. Hero (Joe) is self-sacrificing and teaches Sam to trust God even through her pain.

Publication date: September 21, 2012