|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||I still believe|
|Regie:||Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 114 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
No sooner has he arrived at Calvary Chapel Bible College in California than the life of the young musician Jeremy (K.J. Apa) changes permanently. First he meets his idol Jean-Luc La Joie (Nathan Parsons), who immediately recognizes Jeremy's talent and takes him under his wing. And then he also meets the enchanting Melissa (Britt Robertson), with whom he falls head over heels in love. Although their relationship is not an easy one, as Jean-Luc has also lost his heart to Melissa, a short period of carefree happiness begins for both of them - until a shocking diagnosis puts this to the test. Jeremy manages to give them both hope and strength with his music - but is that enough to go the hard way to the end?
"I still believe" is after "I Can Only Imagine: The Song of My Life" the next film of the directing duo Andrew and Jon Erwin, which deals with the true story of a Christian rock musician. The story is quite moving, but its realisation can only convince to a limited extent. First the positive aspects: the chemistry between "Riverdale"-star K.J. Apa and Britt Robertson is very harmonious. Especially the beginning of their relationship is wonderfully romantic and despite an extra portion of kitsch, it definitely goes to your heart. The supporting roles are also well cast with Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump") and country star Shania Twain. Even though the script with its rather clichéd dialogues doesn't allow for a top-notch performance, there is nothing to criticize concerning the acting.
The camera work and the partly very nice songs also leave a positive impression. Even if you're not a fan of Christian rock and country music, some of the songs you hear in the film are really fast on the ear - and some of them go straight to the heart. So far, so good. The movie only gets a problem when it - as was the case with "I Can Only Imagine: The Song of My Life" - focuses too much on the Christian aspects of the story. That just seems - and I say this as the son of a pastor - too much like a sermon that is not exactly subtly conveyed. It just seems a bit too extreme, which weakens the emotional power of the story.
It's good that the real Jeremy Camp has found the support in his faith to survive a really heavy stroke of fate and to find new courage to live. It is also good that he can give courage and hope to other people with his music. Yet, the way the whole thing is conveyed here in the last third of the movie is just a bit too much to be convincing. Apart from that "I still believe" is a quite nice romance, which at some moments might even move you to tears. Nevertheless, there is a "worth seeing" only with small restrictions.
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