Good actors help bring this intriguing story to life, a story about walking by faith when life throws problems our way. Several young adults, an interesting mixture of random people, are invited to stay at a wintry cabin in the woods. A young filmmaker, Miguel, who is affectionately called “Spielberg”, says he’s been asked by the man that invited them to the cabin to do a documentary on their lives. He’s supposed to see how they adjust to one another and what obstacles and difficulties they have faced and how they responded.
Included in the mix is a young, handsome man named Cole, who had a sports career laid out before him until an accident resulted in a broken leg, a rod placed in his leg, a long rehab stint, and a change of career plans. Joining Cole is a young woman named Spree, named after a river in Germany, and we learn she had a baby at 15 and the pain that she has endured ever since giving the child up.
Another member of the thrown-together group is Mollie, a young woman who loves to quote Shakespeare and whose life was dramatically changed when some missionaries spoke with her. Riley is a young woman who had a break-up from her boyfriend when he became addicted to porn, and soon there are sparks between Cole and her. Could it be this will be a fresh start for the two of them? Finally, there is Richard, an intelligent man who has his Masters’ degree but despite his magnificent brain tends to be socially awkward. For this reason he finds it difficult to open up with the other members of this unique group.
The gang gets to know one another, with “Spielberg” always near-by with his camera, recording the various events and comments. There are funny moments as the group gets to know one another. Spree admits to loving peanut butter, pickles and onion sandwiches, which elicits groans and an, “Oh, that’s gross!” comment. They also play various games with one another such as filling their mouths with marshmallows and trying to say, “Chubby bunny!” They have a fun snowball fight too. And, slowly, they begin to let their guards down as they discuss the painful moments they have faced in their various life journeys. Some of their discussion focuses on Jesus and his forgiveness, and also the Mormon faith that some adhere to.
Both tensions and compassion mount as the group grows closer and they open up more. Cole becomes angry with Richard who refuses to open up much and finally Richard spills the beans: he is attracted to guys and this goes against his faith. He sees people that are happy, men and women, which he believes God has appointed, and he sees little happiness or intimacy in his own future.
Cole admits he became addicted to pain-killers after his leg surgery, and that he went on to stronger drugs. He finally licked the problem but what really caused the accident and his leg injury surprises everyone. Cole shares his grief after facing the loss of a person’s life. Spree shares a photo of her son, a bit earlier when he was four, and he has red hair just like her. Her pain is evident and palpable.
The movie, thanks to the talented and believable actors, and unique theme of the group being thrown together, works and will cause the viewer to search introspectively for their own pain and to ask the question: Has this been resolved? The fact they address the issue of believing in God and Christ– and coming to the conclusion they do– is powerful, gripping, and great drama as well.
Due to the sensitive and sophisticated themes, we are awarding our Dove 12+ seal to this interesting and thought-provoking film.
The Dove Take:
This movie takes on important themes in life such as pain and death and grief, and does so in a remarkably entertaining and yet hopeful way.