While driving to her destination wedding location in the Hamptons, Dr. Lisa Leland has an unfortunate run-in with the local law enforcement of Normal, Louisiana. Due to her new speeding ticket and unpaid parking tickets, a local judge decides to give Lisa a choice between community service or jail time. Lisa chooses community service and finds herself as the new town doctor. While begrudgingly performing her duties, Lisa clashes with the town lawyer, who is in the middle of a heated legal battle. Finally forced to slow down in her fast-paced life, Lisa realizes there is more to her existence than just making money.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
The production quality of Finding Normal is better than usual, but it is still only average. The camera work is passable, as are the video and sound qualities. The sets and locations are limited and seem cheap. The editing is all right, but there is not really much to work with. Overall, Normal is a step above other PureFlix movies that contain glaring errors, probably since it was made for TV, but it is still not as good as it should be, knowing how much funding PureFlix has available to them.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
The plot content is really where this movie takes a nosedive. For starters, it is a typical small town hostage plot in which a big city character gets stuck in a small town with every cliché imaginable: little to no cell phone coverage, a local judge with an agenda, a police officer that pulls over newcomers, a small church with typical church events, a predictable town event, and even fishing. Besides this, the storyline is trumped up and inaccurate—local jurisdictions cannot enforce parking tickets in other states. It is a stretch to believe that being a doctor could count as community service. In other news, an unrealistic religious freedom case is inserted into the film, along with some save the farm plot elements. In the wake of this nonsense, the characters are empty and the dialogue is painful. The ending makes little to no sense—the whole movie seems like it was forced to happen. Unfortunately, there is nothing good to say here.
Acting Quality (1 point)
The acting is not as bad as it could be, but it is also not as good as it could be. Candace Cameron Bure is average at best. The surrounding cast tries too hard to have a ‘small-town feel’. Overall, there is nothing dynamic enough here to warrant any more points.
The bottom line is that this type of movie has been done before, too many times. There is nothing new about a big city character getting stuck in a backwards small town and being forced to slow down their fast-paced life. When these types of movies are being pitched, creators need to be challenged to change it up and do something that hasn’t been done before, even something slightly different. Christian films are already too replete with mediocre nonsense and we certainly do not need anymore. We implore Christian film distributors everywhere to use the funding they have to make one truly dynamic movie, one that can change cultures, not five more that will be forgotten in a few years.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points