Date: October 4, 2013
Reviewed by Lori Twichell
Gracie Trey is 18 and only sure of one thing. She wants to sing. She loves music. It’s a part of her soul. That would probably come from the fact that her father is a musician as well. A long time ago, he had a hit song that made the top of the charts and he was amazing. Then he accepted Christ and took his singing talent in a different direction. He’s now the leader of praise and worship at his church and Gracie sings with him.
But that’s not what she wants to do. Gracie wants to break out and find her own path but her dad is pretty overprotective. Having spent a good amount of time in the music industry, he knows how dangerous it can be and he doesn’t want his daughter in the middle of that. Those two positions are pretty hard to move toward each other for a compromise.
So when Gracie sees a chance, she takes it and she escapes into the world she’s always dreamed about. But when you dream, you usually only see the bright side and you don’t see all that it takes to get there.
Gracie’s journey makes for a wonderful film. It’s hard to watch at times but it highlights how God can bring us back – no matter how far we’ve fallen. The story was beautifully written. I hate it when you try to jam the gospel into places it doesn’t belong. Sometimes when watching a movie or a book I just roll my eyes. Shoving that verse into that conversation might look good on paper but it doesn’t flow the way most people talk. It can give the audience a bump out of the experience – whether it be a book or a film. Grace Unplugged suffers from none of that. The conversations, the experiences, the issues – these are real. With shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent plastered all over television, it’s easy to imagine that the entertainment industry is all glitz and glamor. Young people dream about being in the middle of all of it –not realizing how terribly difficult it can be to keep up a public image. Grace Unplugged highlights the realities of how tough it can be. Those characters on the screen may have been fiction, but in my line of work, I’ve run into the real people more times than I care to remember. The industry is a machine and it can chew you up and spit you out.
I loved this movie. I took my 14 year old daughter to it and she came away with some great questions about parenting and fame and how to handle certain situations. I loved it. And the music was GREAT! At the end of the film, you could hear people in the theater singing along with Grace. It was a fabulous experience!
One of the best parts of the movie talks about how to actually OWN your faith. You might sit in church every Sunday and you can believe it all, but are you living it? You can buy the book that is featured in the film as well and learn how to own your faith and make it yours. Don’t just say it. Live it.
For many years, Christian film has been trying to catch up with the rest of the industry. Having “Christian” or “Faith based” on the title has always created an immediate deduction in quality and value in people’s minds. It means the movie isn’t going to have a good script or storytelling or the filmmaking will make you cringe. Not so with this one. Grace Unplugged is a great movie. No labels needed. Don’t miss this one!