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This is Our Time Uses Post-College to Examine God's Timing

<i>This is Our Time</i> Uses Post-College to Examine God's Timing

DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013
Rating: NR
Genre: Drama
Run Time: 104 mins.
Director: Lisa Arnold
Cast: Erin Bethea, Kate Cobb, T.J. Dalrymple, Matthew Florida, Shawn-Caulin Young, Bruce Marchiano, Eric Roberts, Erik Estrada, Dawn Wells

Everyone knows that college can be a difficult time for Christian students. What the movie This is Our Time wants to examine is the lesser-known fact that the years after graduation can be just as hard, or harder.

The admirable primary goal of the film is to strip away the veneer of comparison so that, say, the guy who didn't get into grad school will know that the gal who got an immediate job with a company car is not necessarily any more or less fulfilled, favored by God, or content than he is. Life has challenges at any stage. And even the cute couple who marries and moves away to the mission field is not immune from the world's harsh realities.

This is Our Time opens by introducing us to five students on their graduation day. It's unclear whether they have attended a religious or secular institution of higher learning, but what we do know is they are all believers, each of whom found a godly and sympathetic mentor in Professor Callahan (Bruce Marchiano), who always has time to dispense just the right piece of wisdom.

The story is narrated by Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young), who sees himself as the group's underachiever, a feeling which isn't helped by things his father (Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight) says, or the confident success of his sister Alé (Erin Bethea, Fireproof). Alé is marrying Luke as soon as they graduate. Valedictorian Catherine and the gregarious Ryder (is there something between them they aren't acknowledging?) round out the fivesome.

With college behind and the world ahead, it's easy for these friends to believe "this is our time." But soon, Catherine becomes privy to the fact that her boss (Erik Estrada) may not be ethical. Ryder finds a girlfriend, but loses his job for not following protocol, despite having had a good idea. Ethan's "stuck" making sandwiches at Dad's restaurant. And to top it all off, these three are about to lose their emotional center when Luke and Alé announce they're moving to India to work with real-life Christian charity Embrace a Village.

Ethan appears to be the one whose life is most inexplicably on hold. He struggles to know God's purposes and the plan for his life. What neither he nor the others realize, however, is that change happens both gradually and immediately; God is both faithful and mysterious; our Identity is secure and determined in Christ, but we're always on our way to what we're going to "be" and "do" in life.

Ethan tells us early in the film that only four of the five friends will make it to the end alive. So tragedy becomes the hinge on which everyone's personal philosophy, concept of God, and life purpose swings. To the film's credit, nothing comes unreasonably easy to any of the characters, even as God matures each of them to the point where the right decisions are more confidently made.

This is Our Time is a film every member of the family can enjoy, and which is also useful for discussing whether or not God is fair, just, or wise in his timing. The greatest takeaway might be the way these young characters function as role models for what it looks like to build meaningful lives and make choices that let one sleep at night.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoliers)

  • Language/Profanity: None.
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: None, not even in the restaurant owned by Ethan and Alé's father, where much of the movie takes place. Instead, people order "rounds" of lattes.
  • Sex/Nudity: None, just kissing between an engaged/married couple.
  • Violence/Crime: One character is struck by a vehicle and killed, but this occurs off camera.

Publication Date: April 17, 2013