I Still Believe
Director: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Starring: KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, Shania Twain, Nathan Parsons, Melissa Roxburgh, Gary Sinise, Abigail Cowen
Runtime: 116 minutes
Christian movies with faith-based themes are not something that most of us get to see that often. Still, the Erwin Brothers take on a project involving contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp’s inspiring biography in their latest film I Still Believe. It is difficult to review and criticize a movie when the film is about a real-life person. Also, because I have a personal soft spot for romantic dramas, especially if it involves music, I may have a bit of bias as I am writing this review.
When Christian musician Jeremy Camp (KJ Apa) goes to college and sees Melissa Henning (Britt Robertson), he falls in love with her instantly. It seems unrealistic, but he wins her over with his honest charms and marries his soon-to-be wife. However, right before their marriage, she gets ovarian cancer, and he asks people all over the country to pray for his wife. Miraculously, she somehow gets healed but not for long. On their honeymoon, Melissa’s cancer returned, and sadly, there wasn’t a second miracle to cure her.
Anyone familiar with Jeremy Camp’s life and career will know what happens in the film. There is nothing groundbreaking here as people have already watched these types of movies, but it is the message that deeply resonates with a lot of viewers. The chemistry between KJ Apa and Britt Robertson pays tribute to Jeremy Camp and his life by bringing a genuine and heartfelt performance to their characters. However, some parts of the film are questionable in terms of the character’s choices. Also, even though KJ Apa and Britt Robertson are sweet and lovely, some scenes are incredibly corny, especially when he brings a Milky Way chocolate bar and proposes how she lights up like a star.
Due to the spiritual elements of the film, non-believers or cynics may doubt some choices from the character and roll their eyes in response to the movie’s manipulations. There’s a lot of praying at houses, hospital, and churches that’s used as a dramatic device, so it might not be engaging for them. But, then again, it is more than likely that most cynics will not watch I Still Believe in the first place.
Mostly, this tear-jerking true story of musician Jeremy Camp and his journey is more than about love. I Still Believe is also about the loss, musical success, and faith that centers around the complexities of a relationship. The Erwin brothers have previously directed other Christian movies. While they did not do exceptionally better in this film compared to Woodlawn and I Can Only Imagine, they still bring out sincere and positive messages to this sad Christian romance.
In the end, I Still Believe is an average movie and nothing more. However, it still contains a poignant, beautiful, and timely message, reminding that in this crazy world, everyone struggles with grief and heartbreak but each of us can hang onto love and often faith to keep our lives moving.
I Still Believe
Considering that I have a soft spot for romantic music dramas, I gave it a much higher score. But make sure you bring some tissues as the film has its emotional moments to this inspiring true story.