A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Stands out for positive role models.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that About Hope (released as False Hopes in 2020) is a faith-based, Christ-centered romance about a couple who seem to be in their 30s. It might not be very relatable to teens and kids, but there's very little content of concern. The only violence is a schoolyard fight with a punch in the nose that draws blood. There's some flirting as well as romantic dynamics and two or three kisses. Adults drink alcohol, and excess isn't shown but it's implied by waking up the next day and not remembering what happened. There's some sadness from the death in the past of Hope's husband. A woman tells how she found her husband cheating on her in the past. A blurb at the end says the movie is an act of worship to Jesus Christ and provides a website for people who have questions about him to visit.
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What's the story?
In ABOUT HOPE, photographer Thomas McKenzie (Justin Ray) just can't find the perfect woman for him. Maybe it's because he's been keeping a list of qualities his future wife must have since he was 12, and this list has gotten pretty long now. Then one day Hope (Christine Juarbe) walks into his studio looking to hire him for a photo shoot. Even though Hope doesn't have all the qualities on Thomas' list, they start dating and having fun together. But almost at the same time Hope appears, so does Desiree (Claire Bermingham), seemingly the woman of his dreams and also someone in a position to get his photography career on the fast track. How can Thomas be sure if either one is right for him?
Is it any good?
This sweet, low-key romance with a solid Christian framework has some flaws, but it also has likable characters and some wry humor. Viewers who share the faith in About Hope may feel more connected to it and enjoy going along for the comfortable ride. Those who don't may find themselves hung up on some production flaws or the occasional story snag. The religious messages are overt, but they don't hit you over the head. And they're universal enough so that viewers who don't share the same faith can still appreciate their value.
The main characters all appear to be in their 30s, so teens may not relate to their exact life stage, but the characters do experience things teens think and dream about, like how you know if someone's right for you, getting engaged, family dynamics, and career choices. There is one child character featured in a few scenes, but it's not enough to generate and hold the interest of younger kids. Some alcohol use and mature themes make it best for older kids and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters of Hope and Thomas in About Hope. Are they positive role models? What are their character strengths and weaknesses?
The Christian faith provides a pretty solid framework for this story. Do you think people of any faith, or even of no faith, would enjoy this movie? How universal are the themes?
What other faith-based movies have you seen? What are your favorites? How does this one compare?
- In theaters: January 22, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: February 11, 2021
- Cast: Justin Ray, Christine Juarbe
- Director: David D. Dietrich
- Studio: Vision Films
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Character strengths: Integrity
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: June 15, 2021
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