God’s Club is the story of married couple Michael and Christine Evans, who start a Bible Club at the school they both teach at. When Christine (Alison MacInnis) has a tragic accident, it is up to Michael (Stephen Baldwin) to carry on that legacy despite the constant opposition of parents and students at the school. Along the way, their daughter Rebecca (Bridget Albaugh) battles against school bullies and helps a troubled teen out of a dark place. Corbin Bernsen (Psych, L.A. Law) and Lorenzo Lamas (Falcon Crest, Grease) also star in this Christian drama.
I would like to preface this review with saying that I fully support and applaud all Christian films that truly strive to make a difference in the world. However, the principles of what make a good and compelling film don’t change no matter if the intention of the film is honorable or not. So even though I support the intentions of this film, I must tell you the honest truth. The truth is that I wanted to stop the movie after the first scene. I felt the acting was stiff, the character development lacking, and the set design cliché (A giant cross on the kitchen table and huge Christian paintings all over the room…really?). Luckily, the story and the acting got significantly better as the film went on and I did stop reaching for the off button.
The great part of this film is that it touches on the well-worn issue of “separation of church and state”. This has been a hot topic over the last several years and I really loved that the film made the point that that part of the constitution was never written to keep religion out of school all together, but instead keep the government from controlling how we worship. In this way, the film really makes a good point. As for the rest of the topics covered in this film, I feel that they get muddled and it soon becomes hard to decipher what lessons to take away. In this hour and a half film, they cover the topics of forgiveness, anger management, dealing with the death of a loved one, depression, suicide, dating someone of a different religion, bullying, learning how to reach children, and standing up for your beliefs. While all of these are great topics, I would argue that it was an overwhelming amount to cover in such a limited amount of time.
In regards to the acting, some scenes were really good and others were…not. It was like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you were going to get. One minute the “villains” of the movie were talking to each other like it was a bad mob drama and the next minute there was a moving scene about the struggles of depression. I was on an emotional roller-coaster. I must, however, give a shout out to actor Corbin Bernsen. All of his scenes were very well acted and I’m not just saying that because I’m a huge fan of the show Psych.
At the end of the day, I didn’t hate the film and I won’t sit here and tell others not to watch it. However, I’m also not going to run out and buy the DVD any time soon.
What Age Group Is It For?
If I were to pick an age group for this movie, I would say somewhere between pre-teen and adult. Since it does show scenes of arson, potential suicide, death and some violence. I certainly wouldn’t show it to anyone younger than that. With that said, nothing gets super graphic.
Looking To Show It at Church?
Good news, it’s on Netflix! That makes it very easy to show at church for a sermon or Bible Study. It’s also a really easy movie to pull a theme from since there are so many covered in the film (all listed above). But this can also lead to the film becoming overwhelming for viewers when it comes to focusing on a theme. So my only words of wisdom would be to not show the whole film, but to pick out specific clips from it dealing with whatever topic you are covering that day.