4. It Pushes the Envelope
Let's state the obvious: Due to the subject matter, it was never going to be possible to turn Francine River's novel into a family-friendly movie. With that out of the way, the question becomes: How do you tell the story without going too far?
Thankfully, the film contains no full nudity. It's rated PG-13 for "mature thematic content, sexual content, partial nudity, and strong violent content."
Largely, the sexual content is off-screen and implied.
Still, it can be titillating. In one scene, Michael is fully clothed when he visits her, but she is nude, with her hair covering her breasts. The film includes two other similar scenes, including one in a river and another in a brothel.
The movie's lone bedroom scene pushes the envelope. It takes place after Michael and Angel are married. They kiss and begin undressing. They embrace. Their hips thrust. They breathe heavily. They fall to the bed, with his hand covering her breast. Lasting about two minutes, it's not a short scene, either, even if everything stays covered. A movie whose core message isn't about sex suddenly becomes – although briefly – about sex. No doubt, it's depicting a sexual relationship within the biblical bonds of marriage, but God didn't intend such encounters to be recorded and broadcast to the world. Even if it's somewhat tame from a Hollywood perspective, it's still provocative.
No, the movie is not rated R, but several scenes should have been left on the cutting-room floor.
The film includes some language (details below) and a moderate amount of violence. (A man tries to drown Angel, and a woman then slaps her. We see a man choke another man to death, another man commits suicide and another is hung from a noose. We also hear discussion of a forced abortion.)
Redeeming Love isn't for kids. But for moviegoers who aren't troubled by its rough content, it's powerful. I shed a few tears at the end. Perhaps you will, too.
Redeeming Love is Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual content, partial nudity, and strong violent content. Language details: SOB (1), b--ch (1), a-- (1), h-ll (2), d--n (1), misuse of “God” (1).
Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Family-friendly rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Photo courtesy, ©Pinnacle Peak, used with permission.