On the surface, the Taylors are the perfect white suburban family. The twins Beau and Ravyn are getting ready to go to college. John is a successful businessman. Alexa is popular with the women of the town. Beau is a high school football star and Ravyn is one of the smartest students. But all is not right. After one evening of tragedy and bad choices, Alexa is forced to look at who she has become and who her family has become. She decides to attend a women’s group in the hopes of discovering some meaning, but she finds herself faced with her own issues. Only when she is ready to be honest with herself and her family will she start to see real change.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
Catching Faith is clearly an underfunded production, which is not entirely the creators’ fault. The production quality is inconsistent on all fronts, with sometimes good video quality, and other times not good. The camera work is okay throughout, though action scenes not as professional as they could be. Audio quality is also inconsistent—some lines require captioning to be heard. Props are used fairly well throughout and sets and locations are at least average. Unfortunately, the editing is all over the field, sometimes conveying a thought-provoking film and other times leaving the audience confused as to what is happening. In short, this is a good effort as the producers appeared to do the best they could with what they had. With a little more funding, this could have been great.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
This film is built on very good ideas; it’s not your typical sports film, although it has some predictable sports elements. The writers were not afraid to take on unpopular issues as they portray the hidden struggles of an average white yuppie family in a smallish town. The characters are developed fairly well, although sometimes there is too much overstatement regarding their tendencies and interests. Yet at other times, plot elements are far too understated. The dialogue is also inconsistent as it is sometimes well-thought-out and other times too obvious or even too vague. Catching Faith provides a surprisingly correct portrayal of counseling, probably because a mental health professional was actually involved in the making. However, this poses a unique problem in that the professional’s curriculum is very prominent throughout the film, pretty much giving it awkward product placements. It would have been better if the counseling concepts were naturally woven into the plot structure rather than inserted from a textbook. Another drawback to the plot is that the end is too neat and tidy—some characters avoid consequences for their actions entirely. But all in all, Catching Faith is a great effort, one that we would expect would be the norm in underfunded independent Christian film. Yet unfortunately, it’s an outlier.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
Like the other elements of the film, the acting of Catching Faith is very inconsistent. Sometimes cast members are right on point while other times their efforts trail off in the distance. As a small amateur cast, they would have benefitted greatly from more professional coaching. This is not to say that there was no coaching—there just needs to be more. There was real potential here that could have been emphasized.
We would love to see this film remade with more funding, more thoughtful writing, and better acting coaching. There was a real heart behind this film, which is really what makes it so different from your typical fly-by-night independent Christian movie. We understand the struggles of independent filmmakers in getting the funding they need; we just ask that creators do the best they can with what God has given them. The creators of Catching Faith mostly did this, and with continued effort in the future, they will make their mark.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points