I Still Believe (PG)
22/04/20 21:12 Filed in: 2020
Directed by: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Starring: Britt Robertson
Warning! This is NOT a movie review. This is a critique of the film. Intended to initiate a dialogue, the following analysis explores various aspects of the film and may contain spoilers. Views are my own and elaborate on comments that were originally tweeted in real time from the back row of a movie theater @BackRoweReviews. For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. Ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!
Based on the real-life experiences of singer Jeremy Camp, I Still Believe is a unique film in that it’s both heartbreaking and inspiring. That bittersweet dichotomy permeates every moment of this tragic love story, which also focuses on faith and family.
Jeremy Camp (K.J. Apa) and Melissa Henning (Britt Robertson) meet at a concert and it soon becomes apparent that their love is written in the stars. But the universe throws the young couple a curveball when Melissa is diagnosed with cancer.
To its credit, the story doesn’t degenerate into a melodrama when depicting its tragic events. There isn’t a false note during the film’s emotionally gut-wrenching passages, particularly those that take place in the hospital.
The film benefits from some superb acting. Though Apa and Robertson scintillate as the movie’s central couple, the supporting cast is equally impressive. Jeremy’s parents are portrayed by Gary Sinise and Shania Twain. One of Melissa’s sisters is played by Melissa Roxburgh, the star of TVs Manifest. In an ironic bit of casting, Cameron Arnett, who played a terminal patient in last year’s Overcomer, appears here as Melissa’s doctor.
The film is directed by the Erwin Brothers (Andrew and Jon), who also helmed last year’s surprise hit I Can Only Imagine; another biopic about the life of a musician, Bart Millard. In a refreshing gesture of paying it forward, Millard serves as one of this movie’s producers.
The Erwin’s have done an amazing job of making a modestly budgeted film feel like a prestige studio drama. Aerial shots, like the ones at Camp’s beachside concert, are impressive and surely weren’t cheap to film. The movie also boasts a diverse soundtrack and an affecting score by John Debney (The Passion of the Christ).
A two-hanky tearjerker, this film will have added significance for anyone who’s lost someone. It’s an eternally hopeful love story filled with music and more than its fair share of genuine, human moments.
In the end, I Still Believe is a moving true story of true love. It’s anchored by superb performances and features a story unafraid to ask some of the big questions about life…and death. And what it means to really believe.
Rating: 3 out of 4