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Movie Review

Jimmy didn’t always believe in God. At least, not really. Not until his wife was killed in a tragic car crash, that is.

Now, three years later, Jimmy is still picking up the jagged shards of his broken life. With his wife gone, Jimmy’s performance at work has plummeted. And everything else around him seems to be going down the drain, too. Luckily he has two beautiful daughters who have his best interest at heart—especially his love life.

And his younger daughter, Demetra, is praying that her dad will fall for her dance instructor, Faith.

Faith is every man’s dream. Smart, talented and beautiful, Faith is a fearless teacher who has also hit some hard times. Recently divorced and on the verge of losing her dance studio, Faith enrolls in a dance competition where she serendipitously meets Jimmy, who’s enrolled in the competition simply to appease Demetra.

Faith chooses Jimmy (of course) as her dance partner. And what begins as a simple competition turns into a slow dance in which Faith and Jimmy both learn to trust again, even as they quickstep their way toward love on the dance floor.

Positive Elements

Jimmy is a kind, loving father. Sure, he may seem too strict for his eldest daughter’s taste at times, but he just wants to make sure his girls are safe. He encourages them, sets boundaries for them and lets his daughters know that they’re loved. At one point, Jimmy talks about the importance of mothers, saying that they are the real “stars” of the family, the ones who always seem to know all of life’s steps.

Jimmy eventually meets Faith. She’s kind and compassionate, quick to listen and offer support. Faith is also talented, passionate and attentive. Among the hard struggles in her past, we learn she also dealt with an eating disorder that she eventually overcame. Similarly, Jimmy’s family, friends and coworkers are genuine, grace-filled folks, too.

The story emphasizes some of the positive lessons to be gleaned through dancing: learning to express yourself through movement; opening your heart and mind to another; and allowing yourself to lead or be led. Another related theme throughout the film is how dance can be an outlet in which participants pour out their “souls.”

Another positive moment is when a teen wisely chooses to come home after prom when her friends begin doing, in her words, “stupid stuff” at a party. The same young woman also learns an important lesson about living life as a “perfectly imperfect” human being.

At one point in the story, Jimmy is counseled to not let tragedy become an excuse for living a stale life.

Spiritual Content

Before his wife’s death, Jimmy referred to himself as a “casual Christian.” But after she died, he promised God that he wouldn’t be casual about his faith anymore. Now, Jimmy prays regularly (in public, in private and with his daughters) attends church and Bible study, and shares his faith when asked about his beliefs.

A woman asks questions about the meaning of theological words such as faith, baptism and fellowship, as well as other biblical phrases in Greek. Eventually, she attends multiple Bible studies and gets baptized. She’s also taught that “the voice inside” of us is called our conscience, and that it’s closely connected to God’s moment-by-moment guidance for our lives.

We hear multiple biblical references, including verses that describe God as being our strength and giving us rest. Other spiritual allusions mention trusting in the Lord, the importance of perseverance, Christ’s triumph over death, the importance of love, and the promise of complete victory and healing.

A song’s lyrics reference reading tarot cards. A man tells a historical story involving fortune tellers. A woman says that someone had a “premonition” about her when she was younger that involved her future husband. A man talks about how our souls are destined to find other souls. A teen wears a cross necklace. A little girl asks a priest if he will pray for her father to fall in love.

Sexual Content

During dance competitions, as well as other dance events, some women wear skimpy dresses. One participant’s dress in particular is quite short and revealing. Dance moves can also feel sensual, provocative and intimate.

A female dance instructor is often seen in crop tops and other cleavage-baring wear. A man wears tight, Spandex leggings. A woman sings about shaking her “booty,” and a couple talks about “butt-shaking moves” while dancing.

A woman admits to being on multiple dating websites following her divorce. She’s generally unsuccessful on all of her dates, so a close male friend encourages her to put on a sexy dress, go out on a fake date and then post “revenge” pictures (involving kissing and flirting) to make her previous dates jealous.

Faith finds it hard to trust men for a couple of reasons: First, her father abandoned his family before her birth; and her first husband cheated on her multiple times before the couple eventually got divorced.

During dancing sessions (and elsewhere), a couple gets increasingly emotionally intimate, leading to flirtation and, eventually, a kiss. We hear some very mild sexual innuendo. An elderly woman believes that an unmarried woman is pregnant. (She’s not.) A woman pulls her cell phone out of her bra.

Violent Content

A man jokes about a dead grandmother. We hear that Jimmy’s first wife died in a car accident.

Crude or Profane Language

At one point, we hear a stand-in for the f-word (“funkin’ ready”). God’s name is misused twice. Faith says that her ex-husband made her life “hell.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

Men and women drink wine and beer. A couple takes a driver with them to a special event, in case they want to drink. A man incorrectly assumes that two people are high.

Other Negative Elements

Jimmy is nearly fired from his job for poor performance. He grounds his teen daughter for arguing with him.

Conclusion

We certainly can’t predict the twists and turns our lives will take, or where we’ll end up. But through all of that uncertainty, we can trust in the One who never changes: God. That’s the main takeaway from this gentle romantic comedy.

Faith met Jimmy when she felt as if her life was spiraling downward, and Jimmy fell for Faith when he believed he’d never love again. Together, the two formed a friendship that blossomed into a love founded on God.

Faith, Hope & Love (starring Dancing With the Stars professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd) invites us into an admittedly predictable story as it focuses on two broken people learning to trust God with the messes of their lives.

Along the way, viewers will glimpse female dancers wearing some revealing outfits. And you’ll have to side-step a plot hole or two, too. Still, the focus here isn’t really on dancing as much as it’s on the power of God to restore lives that have been shattered.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Peta Murgatroyd as Faith Turley; Robert Krantz as Jimmy Hope; Michael Richards as Daddy Hogwood; Corbin Bernsen as Brian Fuller; M. Emmet Walsh as Fr. John; Natasha Bure as Gia Elpidas; Aria Walters as Demetra Elpidas; Gary Hershberger as Tommy; Karen Y. McClain as Coretta Maxwell

Director

J.J. Englert ( )Robert Krantz ( )

Distributor

ArtAffects Entertainment

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

March 15, 2019

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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