If one wants to create an express lane to the heartstrings of a movie viewer or reader all they need to do is have a sick child or pet in their story. I do not want to come off as being callous; because trust me, I am one of the first ones who will start tearing up when I see an ill animal or child. There is something about seeing a defenseless child or animal suffering that affects me quicker than seeing an adult. I believe it is due to the innocence I perceive in them. Maybe this will make better sense: I have more sympathy for living beings who did nothing to cause themselves to get sick as opposed to an adult who, let us say, drank too much alcohol most of their life and now is suffering with a dying liver. So if that scenario of sickness is going to be part of a story then I want to follow it to its conclusion; whether it has a happy or sad ending does not make a difference to me as long as it is told in an honest way. There is another aspect about all of this that makes this type of story more poignant and that is when it is based on true events. When I am sitting in the theater and the first frame of the film shows what I am about to see is based on a true story I get higher hopes that I will enjoy the movie. When her daughter Anna, played by Kylie Rogers (Finders Keepers, Fathers and Daughters), suddenly became ill and started suffering with severe stomach pain; Christy, played by Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club, Draft Day), wanted an explanation for it, even from God. Based on a true story this dramatic film also included Martin Henderson (Everest, Smokin’ Aces) as Kevin Beam and Eugenio Derbez (Instructions not Included, Jack and Jill) as Dr. Nurko. What worked for me in this picture was the fact this story was based on true events. However, my issue with it was I wished the script would have stayed focused on the Beam family’s plight without the heavy-handed use in reminding me about faith. I read afterwards the movie studio did not want to promote this as a faith based film; however this movie wound up preaching to the chorus in my opinion. Interestingly I became aware of the audience sitting in the theater when one viewer yelled out at a particular scene, “It is a miracle!” It was then that I looked around and realized the crowd was the same type of crowd I have seen at all of these poorly made faith based films. I do not want to be hit over the head with the swooning soundtrack, the film shots of the sky filled with bright light and sermons; I just want to watch and discover the story in my own way. This story of Anna was fascinating enough; I did not need someone telling me how to live my life.
1 ¾ stars