“New Life” is a powerful movie about the hope that love gives, even in the midst of grief. Jonathan Patrick Moore stars as Benjamin Morton, a man who has known Ava (Erin Bethea), his future wife, since childhood. Ava became his first friend when he and his family moved to the United States from England, and they have been together ever since.
They go through ups and downs, including a tragic event regarding a child. Yet, when they move forward and seem to be at their happiest, life throws them a curve in the form of cancer — and Ava will need chemotherapy to beat it. Ava keeps a sense of humor, calling fellow chemo patients at the hospital “chemo-sabies,” something close to what Tonto called the Lone Ranger. Proving his love for her, Ben shaves his head when she begins to suffer hair loss from the chemo treatments, and he remains a rock for his wife. She keeps a sense of humor as she puts on a blue wig and gives Ben a wig that looks like a rooster’s mane. After her recovery, they share some of their happiest moments, such as when she presents him with a boat called Je T’aime (French for “I love you”), which they remember from their childhood. Then, tragedy strikes again, and they will need love and strength to move forward. Fortunately, their story has a little light at the end of the tunnel. We are awarding this film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12-plus. It has a few tear-inducing moments but presents a wonderful message of hope with a quality script, direction, and acting. Erin Bethea and Jonathan Patrick Moore shine in the lead roles.