We’ve all seen it and many of us have experienced it as well. We put our heart and soul into a dream only to see it unravel before our very eyes.
It could be a retail store or a service enterprise. In the case of Saving Faith it was a theater in the little town of Clinton, TN.
Faith Scott (Jenn Gotzan) inherited the theater from her mother and aunt. But things are going from bad to worse. The bills keep outpacing the revenue, she’s way behind in utilities ($17,000), the bank is threatening foreclosure and a prominent businessman who owns all the surrounding property is hoping she fails so he can purchase the discounted property and re-sell it to a company for a new plant … and a profit.
The plot is familiar, but writer/director Chip Rossetti puts a decidedly Christian twist on it. Faith has the support and encouragement of her Elvis-loving Uncle Donny (Donny Richmond), a volunteer joking jack of all trades Henry (Henry Cho), a suitor of seven years Frank (Jim Chandler), Donny’s son Carl (real life son Chase Richmond) and Hailey (Lilly Echeverri) who works at The Ritz and helps tests Faith’s faith . They all pray for guidance for Faith, who herself faces one of those “Where are You?” moments as her faith wanes.
In a last ditch effort, Donny shows Faith a photo of her mom and aunt as they put on a Christmas show … in July. He suggested Faith might likewise put on a special Christmas show for the community.
They all get busy calling their contacts, leading to cameos — and sorry, no can dos — from Michael W. Smith, Scott Hamilton, Phil Vassar, Victoria Jackson, Buddy Jewell, Jay DeMarcus and Steve Gatlin. Then Donny scores with Vince Gill and Amy Grant, also making a cameo, setting the stage for this Christmas spectacular that renews Faith’s, well, faith and sparks the relationship with Frank.
Of course, businessman Peter Marsh (Carey Jones) can’t let the show go on. He calls in some favors to have the utilities turned off at the theater and at least implicitly is responsible for a fire backstage that fortunately was discovered by Henry before it could spread. And when the Vince Gill/Amy Grant bus broke down the night of the performance, Marsh was the first — and only — person in line for a refund.
The show did go on with Henry — who was known for god-awful jokes — knocking out a comedic routine, an uplifting set up band and former star Donny capping the show.
The movie is about family and loyalty, trusting in God’s plan and believing in and standing with your dreams and values. It’s a feel good movie and while you may think you know how it’s going to end — The Ritz saved and Faith and Frank getting together — there are enough surprises to keep you guessing and laughing and praying for Faith.
While it decidedly had a Christian bent, the movie did not hit you over the head with theology. Instead it showed faith in action, quiet prayer time and, as the promo promises, allows us take a leap of faith and find hope. I appreciated that … and those are the type of Christian films I prefer.
My only negative was the hustle of the cameos. The names were listed on the promo poster, but made no appearance other than the brief cameo. And I would have really like to hear more than “We’re in” from Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: A good friend is much like a vase. A good friend is a vessel who helps us display the gifts God has given us and brings out the best in us. A good friend nourishes our gifts and encourages us to blossom while he/she holds us up. A good friend is transparent and open. A good friend reminds us God uses the beautiful things in our lives as well as the ordinary.