An overweight dental assistant is challenged to find her self-worth when she falls in love with a young man after she uses her attractive friend’s picture on an online dating website.
Fat Chance shows two ways a lie can take on a life of its own—when you tell one and when you believe one. That’s the predicament in which Allison (Sarah LeJeune, who also edited the movie), an aspiring dental assistant, finds herself. The lie that she believes—that she’s undeserving or incapable of being loved because she’s overweight—leads to the lie she tells when she uses a friend’s photo for her profile picture on an online dating site.
Based on a true story, Fat Chance shows how Allison suffered from the lie she believed much longer than any she told. She was fat-shamed and bullied from her youth. She falls for a young man online named Justin (Judah Duncan), only to later learn he’s the same Justin she’s been friends with. He’s unaware of the deception because she’s afraid to video chat with him or to reveal her true identity, fearing that she’ll lose the romantic relationship she’s been building with him online.
At a restaurant, Allison’s friend, Kate (Amaris Kirby), convinces her that she has to tell Justin the truth. She plans to finally tell him after the camp they both work at concludes, but Justin’s friend Chad (Wesley Elder) overhears Allison and Kate’s conversation from an adjacent booth and beats Allison to the punch. Justin is hurt by the revelation and is prepared to walk away from the relationship; he won’t take Allison’s calls or answer her text messages. Kate visits him and intercedes for Allison, saying that Allison is a sweet, non-judgmental person who has one blind spot: She can’t see how lovely a person she is.
Cut to the heart, Justin finds Allison teaching about faith at the camp where they worked—the camp she almost quit because she expected Justin to be there and couldn’t face him. He reveals his own blind spot—that he couldn’t see that she has been what he’s been looking for all along.
Faith is artfully weaved throughout this happily-ever-after tale. Allison teaches one of the little campers the meaning of Proverbs 23:7—”As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”—and shows off a melodious voice while singing the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour” a capella. Former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson plays Nancy, the camp director, who comes across as slightly dingy, but is spot-on when encouraging Allison to see herself as God sees her—in His image, worthy of love—and quotes 1 Samuel 16:7: “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Dove finds both the outward appearance and the heart of this movie attractive and awards it Approval for All Ages.
The Dove Take
Fat Chance never directly quotes John 8:32—”You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”—but does a great job of showing what it means. Once Allison stops believing the lie, she stops telling her lie and is liberated to be loved the way she’s always wanted.