Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Movie Review: Catching Faith

Title: Catching Faith
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Christian, family, drama, sports
My Rating: *
Official Rating: NR (not rated)
Age Group: 14+ for teen drinking and lack of parental guidance

They're like any other family. A father with a job, a mother who stays at home and runs things, two seniors in high school, one boy, one girl. The girl's smart and headed for M.I.T. Her brother, the football star who's popular and good at the game he plays. They've even got the grandparents who are nice, but get on their nerves every now and then. The mother's friends who are concerned about appearance and don't really know her. The crazy church lady who seems to think they need help.
But they don't need help. They're the perfect family with success and great clothes. They're fine. Great, actually.

Then the son gets caught drinking. The grandfather dies of a heart attack, the grandmother moves in and drives everyone crazy. The daughter has a copy of the answers to the final Latin exam that hasn't been given yet. The mother is falling apart and doesn't know where to turn, and on top of all that, her husband wants the son to confess to drinking. Which will get him kicked off the team. But the husband wants his family to have "integrity" and he's positive that's the way to get it. Get the kid kicked off the football team. Make enemies of the entire town.
Right. 'Cause that's a good idea.

Word of Warning
  • Underage drinking (were it not for this, I might give it a much lower age rating)
  • Mother hesitates and thinks her son should get away with drinking because he didn't get caught. This may be the attitude of the town, as at least one other mother (who is used to represent the views of the women) believes that if the kids are safe and don't get caught, it's not a big deal and should be left alone.
  • Daughter steals a copy of the test answers (she doesn't use it, but she does have it)
  • Grandmother is always rude and nitpicking her daughter's way of running the house/family
  • Wife takes a necklace her husband bought her to the store to exchange it for a bigger one and doesn't tell him
  • Dishonesty, tension, problems in the marriage
  • Death
  • Daughter's clothes are sometimes revealing
  • A very rude woman who masquerades as a friend
  • Family issues. Basically, the family bond is suffering
  • No bad words, no violence (save for a few football tackles), nothing bad on the intimacy front (except for the conflicts in the marriage, but that's not inappropriate for younger viewers)

My Thoughts
Two things I want to address: the use of nouns instead of specific names, and the low rating for something obviously appropriate for nearly the whole family.

Let's start with the single star. The single star is because I found this film rather boring. It was the typical Christian film that is slightly preachy, but I have to give them credit for still putting the family through plenty of struggles even after the faith comes back into their lives. It wasn't even that preachy until the moment on the bench when the football coach starts quoting Scripture to the son. Which I have nothing against--it was just painfully preachy and sort of pushy of the movie. If they had managed to make it a bit more interesting, I could have dealt with the pushy preaching.

Husband. Wife. Son. Daughter. Grandmother. Grandfather. Why no names? I could confess that I can't even remember the names (aside from Beau, the son's name, because he got yelled at a lot). But I want to claim a stylistic move here. The movie is meant to be universal. It's trying hard to be classic, the story of every family. No, it's not the story of every family (M.I.T.? drinking?), but I will admit that it does a pretty good job of feeling applicable and real for everyone (which is probably why it's so boring--after all, we all know the story and its ending). So I went with it instead of looking up names, because I liked the implications that choice made.

So it was boring, but it was every day life with a semi-every day family and it was mostly appropriate for all ages. I'm just not sure all ages would be interested, since it mostly follows the struggles of the mother and isn't very gripping.

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