love-covers-allLove Covers All is an independent Christian film from Praise Pictures. The film focuses on a Michael (Jared Young), a young expectant Father who traveling to a meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina to find out he’s been laid off. Michael is returning home to Atlanta from in order to be present for the birth of his son.

However, his car breaks down at a small town in South Carolina at two o’clock in the morning, leaving him hundreds of miles away as his wife Sarah (Jen Mecurio) goes into labor. While stranded, Michael meets Bob (Rusty Whitener) a service station owner who tries to help Michael, while engaging the young man in conversations about his faith.

The film is a great character piece for both Michael and Bob. Michael has had serious issues with his father who was never there for him and is determined to avoid those mistakes, starting with being there for the baby’s birth. While going into labor, Sarah tries to avoid going to the hospital for fear he’ll miss the baby’s birth.

For the first two-thirds of the movie, Michael is concerned only with getting home. This gives the film a down-to-earth feel. Love Covers All uses the full range of modern technology as he has to deal with a dying cell phone, sends out a call for help on a social media network, and a friend uses a map website to find his way there.

The highlight of the movie is the conversations between Bob and Michael. Whitener turns in the best performance of the movie as Bob, playing a decent and kind character who is a seeker who has been turned off from Christianity. For his part, Michael isn’t feeling like reading his Bible or praying as he just wants to solve his problem and get home which leads to confusion and sparks with Bob. What’s interesting about their conversations is that both men have things they’d rather not talk about and seem to take turns being evasive. There’s great tension in these scenes.

The film is targeted towards Christians and in a gentle way, it challenges Christians to live every moment understanding the reality of our faith and applying it to our situation. It all is a great story of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Love Covers All is smartly filmed. It’s not a visually stunning movie by any means, but it looks professional even though the production was clearly made on a small budget. I liked the way they portrayed characters texting back and forth, which allowed the actors to convey emotions with facial expressions alone.

The acting is strong with every major character played realistically and believable. The most experienced cast member was character actress Rhoda Griffis, who plays Michael’s mother Judy. The film also features several actors who’ve appeared in other Christian films including Whitener (Alone Yet Not Alone), Jason Burkey (October Baby), Shannen Fields (Facing the Giants). Not only are these actors continuing to find work in Christian films, but also becoming better actors.

The biggest flaw with the film was its pacing. It took seventeen minutes of the seventy-eight minute running time to get to the point of Michael’s car breaking down at the service station, when it could have been done in seven minutes without losing anything significant. While Michael losing his job could have added to the conflict of the movie, given the way the film played out, it really felt extraneous to the plot.

Less importantly, a couple short scenes should have been left on the cutting room floor, and the film also features a newspaper headline that’s unbelievable as anything other than a plot contrivance.

Despite a few minor flaws, writer/producer/director Kyle Prohaska’s second film is an enjoyable and thought-provoking one that contains a positive faith-affirming message.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.0

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