This film can be best described as a bit of Christian fluff. Scott, a documentary film maker, arrives in Georgia with his wife and young daughter. His backer is hoping to expose Christian hypocrisy, but Scott just wants to discover the truth. He reluctantly agrees to join the small group program of a local church, secretly filming their meeting and discussions.
The theology presented is definitely not Lutheran (of the ‘make a decision for Christ’ ilk), the church services depicted are mere Christian entertainment (in my opinion) and the plot is predictable. The men bond over a camping trip (where they behave like ten year old boys), while the women start a yoga studio. Of course, the deception is discovered to the dismay and disappointment of the group members. However, in the end, a positive documentary is produced, Scott is baptized, the redneck next door neighbor turns out to be a lovable medic, the prodigal bunny belonging to Scott’s daughter Casey returns, and all is forgiven.
There are a few touching moments involving a mission trip to Guatemala, and the premature birth and death of a child, but other than that, everything is neatly wrapped up and resolved exactly as one would expect.
I have belonged to a number of small groups, and am aware of their transformative potential over time. However, this movie simply didn’t capture the depth of the experience for me.
In keeping with the theme for this month, I would say the life challenge presented here is betrayal, and the difficulty of forgiving in light of the hurt that brings.
VERDICT: 2 STARS.
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