Faith-based movies like “I Still Believe” are always a tough review to write because the purpose of the film can mean many things to many different people. And this true story about christian rocker, Jeremy Camp, may inspire some but will certainly just make some walk out of the theater an emotional mess.
KJ Apa (A Dog’s Purpose, The Hate You Give) plays Camp, who is off to college with the hopes of being a music star. Along the way he meets Melissa (Britt Robertson) and the two fall in love as Jeremy begins to find musical success. But not long after the two realize their connection, Melissa falls ill and the two have to tackle an uncertain future together.
The problem with “I Still Believe” is it’s balance. You spend too much time sharing misery with the characters in this film that clocks in at almost two hours. While the cast, which also includes Shania Twain and Gary Sinise as Jeremy’s parents, do a fine job, it only makes the heavy load of sadness that the directing Erwin Brothers give us, even harder to carry along the way. The film’s marketing has lead to the predictability here and we’re just left feeling drained and asking the same questions about god’s intentions that these characters do along the way.
On the positive side, this film has a huge heart, and while it’s faith based, there will still be something for everyone else here too without making them feel like they’re being preached too. Fans of Camp’s music should be content here, although there could have been more.
In the end, Jeremy’s story is powerful, but “I Still Believe” just left me with a lot of questions, while forcing me with a heavy lift of accepting the bad things that can happen regardless of how strong your faith is.
I Still Believe
Running Time: 1 Hour 56 Minutes