Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Life is hard and then you die.

I Still Believe (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

ISB is suffused with contemporary Christian culture. In it one Tom Camp (Gary Sinise) had become an ordained minister with high hopes for his ministry. He married one of his cute, young, adoring fans (Melissa Roxburgh,) and then family res­pon­si­bil­ities—especially with a special needs child (Reuben Dodd)—forced him to take a secular job in Lafayette, Indiana. There just wasn't enough money for a starting preacher to maintain a family. In 1999 though strapped for cash he sends his oldest son, Jeremy Camp (K.J. Apa) off to Calvary Chapel College his alma mater in California. Theirs is a tight knit family and Jeremy's folks splurge to give him a new acoustic guitar to go with his “gift” of music.

dating / friendship
hierarchiesJeremy shows his family a parlor trick with magnets demon­strating his belief that one can have what he thinks about, what he sets his mind on. At school he quickly spots a beauty in a Christian rocker concert and after the show starts hitting on her. Being a lover like his dad he eventually gets Melissa Henning (Britt Robertson) to agree to “one date” with him. She's an upper­class­man who by now should have availed her­self of plenty of one dates, but no, she has been hanging out with a clique of friends instead. There­fore when lover boy Jeremy presses her on to their destiny, their awkwardness due to inexperience inter­feres with smooth sailing.

friendship hierarchyMelissa is conflicted. Her friend since Freshman year Jean-Luc (Nathan Parsons) is wanting more than just friend­ship, a feeling she does not reciprocate, but she doesn't want to disap­point him. Consequently, she must pretend to others that she and her boy­friend Jeremy are just friends, while pretending to Jean-Luc that she's just slow deciding. This inner mental turmoil over failure to discriminate a boy­friend from a just-friends fellow manifests in her body being racked with an indiscriminate cancer affecting all her organs. As an artistic touch her black Dr. Furst portrays no (race) discrimination in southern California.


When college boy arrives at his destination, we see displayed a banner reading WISDOM. The proverbs include: (Prov. 30:24) “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:” It behooves us here to look at what these four little wise things be.

(Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” The summer of life (youth) is the time to start squirrelling away resources for the winter time (old age.) Jeremy did not have a strong act to begin with, but on day one he finagled his way into tuning the stage guitars for performer Jean-Luc. He couldn't have been tipped all that much, but it was an immediate career start.

(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” Location has a salutary effect on business. Here on the west coast Calvary Chapel has long enjoyed a good reputation for their music ministry. This was a good location for a budding Christian musician to set up shop.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” Jeremy soon got in with an informal group of musician friends who included Jean-Luc to give him pointers and pass his demo tape along, as well as Melissa to sing with him and encourage his writing.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” The spider does well once it finds a happy niche. The suffering Jeremy experienced in his relations with Melissa colored his music to appeal to many others who'd suffered in their own lives and needed assurance that God is there for them regard­less. In his Christian rocker niche, Jeremy sold five million albums, also other media, and was easily able to support a wife and children from his earnings.

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by Andrew Erwin. It was written by Jon Gunn and Jon Erwin who helped direct it. It stars Britt Robert­son, K.J. Apa, and Melissa Rox­burgh. The acting was adequate if a little under­done. The leading couple made a hand­some couple. Sup­porting cast were not much in evidence.

MPAA rated it PG for thematic material. It was based on a true story. A portion of it was filmed in Mobile, Alabama, USA, a concert scene from Hang­out Fest, which featured actual concert goers. ISB did not rely on any trick photography, though there was some neat planetarium star footage.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

In California, it seems, puppy love plus soulful tunes equals a smash hit. I am generally in the Christian camp, though I feel many of their relation­ship ideals can inad­ver­tently lead to sparkly self-destructive super novas as Melissa describes herself. When I was in circulation, I preferred going with girls who were not holding out for a veritable Prince Charming before accepting a single date. Usually they had another con­cur­rent boyfriend(s) when I approached them, and to be sure I experienced a lot of rejection that way. And while an exploding super nova is not every­one's cup of tea, neither is a binary star with its extra gravity well.

Jeremy Camp's music has universal appeal even to those who wouldn't be caught dead in his shoes. We all have our own sufferings, and musical assurance of God's continued care is welcome on stage and in a movie. With­out the music that moved me at the end, I wouldn't have rated the movie as high as I did.

It's not at all preachy but uses contemporary Christian culture touch­stones just as another movie might use, say, those of Catholic culture, Jewish culture, or Italian culture. It's interesting to see how other people deal with life, and there's even differences among Christians.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Wake up and smell the 1990s technology. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: A number of suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.