After Jason Burkey’s heart is broken by a girl he thought he would spend the rest of his life with, he gives up a basketball scholarship (as he is frequently reminded) and does the most natural thing anyone would do: run away to live on a remote island with his reclusive father, Kevin Sorbo. But seven years later, Kevin Sorbo get tired of the island and decided to buy a sombrero and live the rest of his days on a boat. So Jason Burkey is forced to go back to the hometown he bitterly left behind and finds everything very similar to the way he left it. He’s still angry at Ben Davies and won’t talk to him, but he slowly finds that the plans he originally had may not have been the best for him—including that basketball scholarship!
Production Quality (1.5 points)
On the surface, like many productions, A Place in the Heart seems fine. Video quality and camera work are on par. Sets, locations, and props are acceptable. However, audio quality is inconsistent—sometimes too loud and other times too soft. The soundtrack is regularly too loud and is at times juvenile. As for editing, there are too many awkward transitions and there is too much choppy content as the film jumps from one thing to the next. In the end, this production is just average, but it seems like it could have been much more than this.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Loosely based on The Great Gatsby, A Place in the Heart has a mild amount of complexity, yet this complexity is detracted from by a lot of amateur elements. Narration used as a crutch to fill in the missing parts of the plot that are due to unnecessary time jumps, even though it is a stereotypical return-to-hometown style plot. Parts of the premise are forced, unrealistic, and based too much on coincidences, while there are tons of manufactured dramas and childish sequences. Dialogue is very stiff and stilted, including very unusual statements and asides, thus creating very awkward and wooden characters. However, despite all of these issues, the second half of the film is slightly better than the first half, and contains a partially interesting message and point if you make it that far. But in the end, the only reason for any plot twists is the fact that this plot is borrowed from other sources.
Acting Quality (0 points)
Any small amount of good that is accomplished in this film is totally derailed by this awful casting job. Any cast that includes Jason Burkey, Kevin Sorbo, and Ben Davies without coaching is sure to be a disaster. Every character is represented by a very awkward cast member that exhibits mumbled lines, fake emotions, and generally poor line delivery. Unfortunately, this film shows that good intentions can be greatly hurt by poor casting.
Romance is a very difficult genre to write because it can very easily become a high-school-level of cheesy. Regrettably, A Place in the Heart commits almost every common romance error all at once. On top of this, the production isn’t what it should be and the casting is deplorable. Movies like this are painful to see because they are so prominent in Christian film. This is not what the face of Christian film should look like, as we have said time and again. Yet hopefully, slowly, this trend is changing.
Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points