Grace Unplugged hits all the right notes! Its story about Grace Trey, a young girl struggling with the pressures of Hollywood, really resonated with me and made this film one of my personal all-time favorites. However, even if you aren’t pounding the pavements of Hollywood, the Christian messages made thought out the film are universally relatable. Throw in a professional production quality and music so good you’ll want to buy the album, and we have ourselves a winner!
In Grace Unplugged, AJ Michalka (The Goldbergs, Cowbelles) plays Grace Trey, the daughter of one-hit-wonder Johnny Trey. When Johnny’s old manager comes to town, Grace takes the opportunity to defy her parents and make her own mark in the music industry. However, it isn’t long before she is faced with a choice: whether to follow the path created for her by Hollywood or the one from God. Grace Unplugged also stars James Denton (Desperate Housewives, The Pretender), Kevin Pollak (Mom, The Whole Ten Yards), Shawnee Smith (Becker, Saw), and Michael Welch (Twilight, Star Trek: Insurrection).
Living in Los Angeles, I can tell you from personal experience that the depictions of Hollywood in this movie are spot on. From the moment I moved out here, I was faced with people trying to get me to compromise my values. Although I haven’t compromised, I know plenty of people who have. That’s why I was so pleased to see a movie that highlighted the very real temptations that are out here for performers. The best part is that in keeping close to reality, they didn’t over dramatize the “evil Hollywood” stereotype as some movies like to do.
The acting was also extremely realistic. Each and every actor was well-suited to their role and gave performances that come from being seasoned professionals. AJ Michalka had the bulk of the film on her shoulders, and she was a strong enough performer to carry the weight. I say performer and not actor in her case because AJ also sang throughout the film. Known for being one half of the singing duo Aly and AJ, her voice is naturally very beautiful. No auto tune needed!
The film also had an extremely well-written script that was relatable, emotional, and inspirational (yes, I cried at the end). It was paced in such a way that the audience really went on a journey with Grace. Her quarrels with her parents, feelings of not being understood, and desire to create her own path in life are all too familiar for many. There are also many who will be able to relate to her parent’s struggles of trying to guide a teenage child through life and the pain that comes from having to let them make their own choices.
Grace Unplugged is available for free streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu. Click HERE if you would like you watch Grace Unplugged’s original song “All I’ve Ever Needed.”
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
Grace Unplugged earned a PG rating, though, it is probably best suited for teens age 13 and older. Teenagers are an ideal group to view this film as it deals with many temptations and pressures they are facing or will face in the future. There aren’t any violent or graphic scenes depicted. However, there are verbal references to drugs, being drunk, and “using your body”. There is some also underage drinking depicted.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
This is a fantastic movie to show at church, especially to a youth group. In fact, my own church showed this at one of our youth group sleepovers and the kids absolutely loved it! The movie talks about following the path God has you, facing temptations, trusting God, and forgiveness. A point could also be made about honoring your father and mother and not lying.