Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
"Grace Unplugged" (Roadside Attractions)
"Grace Unplugged" is a Christian themed movie that aims to break out of that specific genre into a wider range of audience. To do this they have hired mainstream actors such as James "Desperate Housewives" Denton, Shawnee "Saw" Smith and Kevin "A Few Good Men" Pollak. They have also created a plot that concerns the modern day music scene, while still alluding to the impact of contemporary Christian music. The effect isn't totally successful but it still presents an enjoyable movie with a moral.
The story concerns an eighteen year old girl named Grace (A J Michalka) who is a very talented singer. She, along with her father Johnny (Denton), sings worship music at her local church. Johnny was once a huge rock star with a number one song, "Misunderstood," but he left that life behind. He isn't even tempted when his old manager Frank "Mossy" Mostin (Pollak) offers him a chance to get back on the road and also record a new album.
Grace sees her chance and she sends Mossy a demo of her singing "Misunderstood." Mossy offers her a chance at signing with his studio and off to Los Angeles she goes. Her father is furious but her mother (Smith) urges him to let her try her wings. So Grace gets her chance in LA with all the success and pitfalls that life can offer.
Michalka is perfect for the role of "prodigal daughter" Grace. She has the looks, the voice and the personality the role requires. Denton is also good in his role as the dejected father who doesn't want his daughter to make the mistakes that he did. This is not the handsome lead role he played on "Desperate Housewives" but rather is a supportive part that gives him a chance to show his range of emotions.
Pollak has the role that bridges both worlds. Mossy is Johnny's friend but he is also a businessman. He sees Grace as a chance for him to make it big with a talented artist under his guidance. He doesn't want to see her or Johnny get hurt but that doesn't slow down his ambitions.
The film is rated PG for some adult themes.
"Grace Unplugged" is a movie with a message and the message is a religious one. Still even those who are not interested in the religious aspect can enjoy this story of a family in crisis. There is also some great music on display.
Christian themed movies are on the rise but their appeal is generally limited to a specific audience. "Grace Unplugged" wants to entertain that base but also expand to a wider audience. By dropping some of the cheesier dialogue and plot lines other movies of this type sometimes have, this new film does succeed.
I scored "Grace Unplugged" a powered 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper