GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD – A Review by Cynthia Flores
If you love God, the military, and Stock car racing in that order, then this new film God Bless the Broken Road is for you. This movie is a Christian film whose title is inspired by the Rascal Flatts song and tells the story of Amber (Lindsay Pulsipher), who’s a military wife that loves singing and leading the church choir as she raises her young daughter Bree (Makenzie Moss). They’re very excited because her husband Darren Hill (Liam Matthews), who’s stationed in Afghanistan is slated to be home soon.
While at church they get the news that Darren has been killed in combat. The majority of the story picks up two years later as Amber, angry at God for letting her husband die struggles on her own, and on a waitress' salary, to raise Bree who still goes to church without her mom. Bree shows her childlike faith by planting a mustard seed in a small pot and coaxing it to grow.
The story introduces stock car racing when Cody Jackson (Andrew W. Walker), a troubled but talented driver is sent to study under Joe Carter (Gary Grubbs), who builds race cars and is known as the king of the turns. Joe takes Cody to church and makes him volunteer with the youth group as they build their go-karts. It’s the same church that Amber used to sing in, the one with the parking lot where Cody firsts notices and is interested in Amber as she drops Bree off.
The rest of the film deals with Amber's troubled relationships with her ex-mother-in-law, Patti Hill (Kim Delaney), her worried friends, Bridgette (Jordin Sparks) and Karena (Robin Givens) and most of all her estrangement from God.
This film is a little scattered and tries to combine elements of faith, country music, and stock car racing all while paying tribute to those who serve in the United States Military. That’s a tall order, and I feel like it could have benefited by narrowing down what they wanted to say to give the film a bit more focus. Even so, the audience I sat with during the screening responded with tears where appropriate and cheers when the movie asked it of them. I just felt that there were too many holes in the story, like not explaining how Amber got to the point of being foreclosed on or why she was allowed to pull away from everyone for so long. Because I felt the film God Bless the Broken Road was an uneven ride, I can only give it a C+ rating.
Directed by Harold Cronk
Written By Harold Cronk, Jennifer Dornbush, Andy Fraser, Liam Matthews
Selig Rating C+
Running Time 1hr 51min
Wide Release September 7th
Starring: Lindsay Pulsipher, Jordin Sparks, LaDainian Tomlinson, Andrew W. Walker, Robin Givens, Makenzie Moss, Kim Delaney, Gary Grubbs
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.