Finding You [2021] (Movie Review)

Finding You (2021) - IMDb

Plot Summary

Finley Sinclair didn’t pass the audition to be accepted into the music school that she’s always dreamed of attending. Thus, Finley decides to take a semester of school abroad, heading to Ireland where her brother spent some of his final days on earth. Along the way, Finley gets tied up with a famous movie star who’s tired of his fake life. Will they be able to discover what they are looking for?

Production Quality (2 points)

Per usual for Brian Baugh, the production of Finding You is very professional. This includes good video quality, camera work, and audio quality. The soundtrack is engaging, and sets, locations, and props are up to industry standards. The only drawback to this section is the significantly choppy editing that detracts from the viewing experience. Nonetheless, this section still receives an above-average rating.

Plot and Storyline Quality (2 points)

With a reliable track record, it’s evident that Brian Baugh will likely never produce a bad film due to his commitment to strong characters. Finding You is no exception to this rule, even if the characters in this narrative outshine the meandering plot. Despite strong dialogue and character development, the characters are tossed along by silly coincidences and somewhat lazy storytelling. Voice and expository conversations are used to fill gaps in the narrative as several disconnected subplots are crammed into the same movie. The writers needed to pick a lane and decide what this screenplay is actually about: a simple love story with some creative riffs and satirical treatment of cheesy films or an exploration of a mysterious elderly woman’s past. By trying to two both things at once, the story became very muddled, lacking clear purpose and focus, which led to a rushed conclusion. Nonetheless, the characters are strong enough to keep this aspect of the movie above par.

Acting Quality (2 points)

As a whole, the cast members in Finding You are mostly acceptable in their roles. Rose Reid was in her comfort zone, by Jedidiah Goodacre seemed to lack range, posting some moments of unsure emotions. At times, line delivery from various actors and actresses was a bit off, but all performances were overall good enough to justify a score just above the middle line.

Conclusion

It’s encouraging that Brian Baugh is applying his directorial talents to novels, which is an absolute necessity as the Christian entertainment field is undergoing a major transition. However, the book that was chosen for this screenplay adaptation did not have a very sizeable audience. Baugh certainly has more potential than is seen in Finding You, so hopefully, in the near future, he’ll be afforded the chance to adapt a better novel.

Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points

Forever My Girl (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Liam and Josie were in love all throughout high school, and many felt like they were destined to be together forever.  However, when they were on the verge of pledging their lives together forever, Liam experienced several life-changing moments.  First, his mother died suddenly, and Liam was discovered as a country artist and became successful almost overnight.  Thus, Liam left Josie behind without saying goodbye.  Now, after several years of fame and success, Liam has gotten into trouble with his drinking habit and has been advised to lay low for a while.  Thus, he returns to his hometown to live with his father, who is a pastor, and Liam is shocked at who he finds waiting for him there.

 

Production Quality (2.5 points)

As a modern, standard inspirational film, Forever My Girl checks all of the right production boxes.  Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all what they should be.  The soundtrack is a bit generic and uncreative, but the sets, props, and locations are all realistic, appropriate, and professional.  The only other minor issue to point out here is the fact that the editing isn’t the best it could be, but as a whole, this is a very high quality production that we have come to see as commonplace in recent Christian films, and it’s a trend we definitely need to see continue.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

Though it is based on a novel, Forever My Girl unfortunately follows a predictable and stereotypical storyline that has been done many times before.  The return-to-hometown plot has many different iterations, and this one is just the star-returns-to-the-hometown version.  However, the presentation of this predictability is not entirely annoying and does make some good attempts at being realistic, such as a good attempt to explore family systems and some general efforts to create believable characters and situations.  Even so, the characters need to be a bit deeper through better dialogue, and the main character’s inevitable arc is a too steep.  Nevertheless, the message of the movie is fine, and many audiences will find it to be a good movie.  It’s definitely ten times better than your average Hallmark throwaway.

Acting Quality (2 points)

Though the lead actor and the lead actress seem confused and uncoached a lot of the time, the rest of the cast members make up for their deficiencies.  It’s unclear whether or not their characters are meant to be written that way, but it seems like the lead cast members could have contributed a bit more than they did.  However, the other members of the cast demonstrate great line delivery and realistic emotions, which is enough to bring this section over the average mark.  As a whole, this movie is good enough to be watchable.

Conclusion

It is definitely good idea to model movies after novels; if a film like this had not had a story written for it in a book, it likely would have been much worse.  This is definitely a practice we need to see more of on the coming days.  Hollywood has already figured out that using source material is the key to successful entertainment, so it’s time for Christian film makers to follow suit because if they put their minds to it, they can definitely do it better.  There is plenty of Christian source material to use, so it’s a great chance to keep using it.

 

Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points