Review: "Faith, Hope & Love"
Updated: Apr 1, 2019
This romantic comedy delivers some laughs, serious dancing and a Christian message of redemption and second chances.
From Christian writer/director Robert Krantz, Faith, Hope & Love is a feel-good story about two lonely people brought together through a dance contest. Krantz's character - yes, he plays the lead, too - is a widower coming to terms with his wife's death. Peta Murgatroyd, in her silver screen debut, is the other half of the team: a divorcee working through betrayal issues.
You may be familiar with her, as she is a professional dancer and long-time cast member of Dancing with the Stars. And, wow, does she do some dancing in this film. Her character has a dance studio that is threatened with closure and she needs the prize money from a Pro-Schmo dance contest to save it.
Needless to say, she's the pro and Krantz is the schmo, so the film revolves around her getting him ready for the competition and uses that as backdrop against which their relationship blossoms. The Christian elements, however come via Krantz's character, Jimmy, who introduces hers to his faith, something she gradually warms to as the picture develops.
The rest of the cast is generally strong and includes some well-known Hollywood vets, like Christian actor Corbin Bernsen, who plays the boss at the ad agency where Jimmy works, and Ed Asner in a comedic role as a curmudgeonly parishoner at his Greek Orthodox church. Newcomer Natasha Bure, daughter of Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure, plays his 18-year old daughter in her inaugural role on the big screen.
Any rom-com, first and foremost, must be funny and this one pulls it off. There are some corny moments and wearying catch phrases, mind you, but every film in this genre has those and this one largely manages to avoid venturing from acceptable corny territory into unacceptable cheesy. It also hits all the other requisite notes - romantic, heart-warming, happy ending tied up in a nice red bow, et cetera - and still manages to communicate a strong Christian message.
Krantz, whose acting credits stretch back to the 1980s, knows his business and does a good job of laying down and weaving together storylines, running gags and character arcs, even for the secondary characters. One other point worth mentioning is that this picture is a whisker racier than your typical faith-based fare: there are some very authentic Latin dances and a few scenes with passionate kissing. We didn't find it over the top, but it is a bit outside the norm.
So how does this film stack up? Anecdotally, our teenage daughters said they enjoyed it...they laughed a fair bit and weren't on their cell phones once, so we believe them! And though Christian Film Blog is not a rah-rah enthusiast of the rom-com genre in general, we rate this one a seven out of 10 and recommend you go see it.
That, however, could prove a challenge, because Faith, Hope & Love is currently playing in just 23 theaters in 15 states. You can check the film's website to see where. In the meantime, take a gander at the trailer to get a feel for it.