I have been compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may be thinking about heading out to an expensive restaurant with your significant other, spending a fortune, and stressing out about getting home in time for the babysitter. Or…
You can get the kids to bed early, open a bottle of champagne, and enjoy a nice, romantic movie snuggled up on the couch together.
If that last option appeals to you, I’ve got the perfect movie suggestion that you’ve probably never heard of, New Life.
New Life tells the story of Benjamin Morton (Jonathan Patrick Moore) and Ava (Erin Bethea), who meet as children. What began as a childhood friendship grows into a meaningful relationship as the two plan out their lives together. When life takes a turn neither of them expected, their entire future is called into question, and they must decide what it really means to make the most of life.
Admittedly, it totally sounded like a chick flick and it’s actually considered a faith-based film. Now, I’m not saying I need sex and violence in my films but I’m always a little worried that I’ll get a watered down movie. After screening a copy of the film, I’m happy to report that New Life has changed my perspective in both of these areas.
Let’s start with the chick flick aspect of the movie. I could tell from the trailer that this was meant to be an emotional movie. Many of you know that I’m not a fan of shows like This Is Us because I just don’t need my entertainment to turn me into a sobfest each week. If anything, I want to avoid a sobfest.
But I’m here to say to you This Is Us fans… I think I get it now. It’s not about emotional manipulation by the writers and the producers. It’s about making you feel something that maybe you didn’t know you could feel. Or something you forgot you could feel.
That’s what New Life did for me.
I sat down with my laptop (I love digital screeners) snuggled on the sunroom couch with my headphones in and started the movie. By the end, I had cried three times. I don’t have an iron core or anything but a film that makes me feel enough to cry – that’s a good thing. That means it’s touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting.
If you’re like me, though, a movie that makes you cry isn’t necessarily a strong endorsement. In fact, if you watch the trailer, you’ll quickly surmise that there’s love, loss, and tragedy. This isn’t a romantic comedy from the 90s where everything magically turns out the way it’s supposed to.
But what you get is a beautiful love story that’s messy and far from perfect. It’s two people that fight to love each other, to build a life together, and to face battles together, even when the battles aren’t always meant to be won.
I cried tears of sadness and sorrow and tears of joy. I promise you won’t walk away feeling gutted. You’ll walk away feeling a bit renewed about the power of love and the joy of living even when it’s not the life we were expecting.
As for this being a faith-based film, you wouldn’t have even known it unless you saw the Christian Cinema logo at the start of the film. It’s directed by Drew Waters from Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad. And in addition to the two charming lead actors, you’ll also find James Marsters, known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and most recently on Marvel’s Runaways and Terry O’Quinn from LOST.
As you plan your next date night at home, you can buy or rent New Life right now.