Heartwarming and Uplifting
No doubt I Still Believe will win this year’s Tear Jerker of the Year Award. That is not to say it isn’t heartwarming, romantic, funny, toe-tapping, and sweet. You see, I do have a heart! The most loveable couple of the year is comprised of bucolic actors KJ Apa and Britt Robertson. Blessed with God-given talent and way too beautiful for words, they are the two young nippers everybody will be cheering through their tears. Get out your handkerchiefs for a good cry. I love it when I’m miserable watching a movie.
Twenty-three year-old KJ Apa, a young Samoan-Kiwi actor from New Zealand, plays real-life singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp, seller of millions of Christian-based albums. As Jeremy, KJ gets to show off his own musical talent by being featured on several songs that have been released on a Capitol Records album. Despite the fact Apa came to prominence in America on the near-soap opera/ cartoon TV series “Riverdale” as Archie Andrews, he’s a good actor and projects deep-felt emotion when it is called for in the script.
Jeremy shows an affinity for music and follows in his dad’s footsteps. Dad is played authentically by Gary Sinese, himself a musician in real life. He gives Jeremy a guitar as he goes off to college -- and that sparks an interest in writing songs and performing. Jeremy is befriended by popular campus musician Jean-Luc, (Nathan Parsons) who gives him a chance to perform at college concerts where he becomes a huge hit, and all the girls are chasing him.
When Jeremy “meets cute” the lovely Melissa on campus, he is overcome by his testosterone working overtime. What can they do but fall in love instantaneously? She’s gorgeous and he’s drop-dead handsome, so nature goes into full gear. But wait! We must have some Shakespearean tragedy and drama to make the story interesting. It’s all based on a true story, so we learn that Melissa develops ovarian cancer and becomes extremely ill.
But no matter, she gets well and they decide to get married despite the odds against them. Britt Robertson as Melissa is beautifully tragic but loveable. She’s cute, spunky and just the right solution for Jeremy’s exploding hormones. Sometimes life is not all we expect of it, but perhaps there is a higher reason for tragedy placed at our feet. After they return from their honeymoon, Dr. Furst (Cameron Arnett) informs them that the cancer has spread.
This movie is not depressing, but it is dramatic. It’s also rather heart-warming to see how much the kids love each other. Plus, a lot of up-lifting music shows off Apa’s talent at performing. He’s so handsome that guys all over the world will be smashing their mirrors because they don’t look like him. He’s a major up-and-coming movie star for sure.
(Released by Lionsgate and rated “PG” for thematic material.)