It’s a kind of symbiosis between the countless Christian religious dramas and the no less countless copycats of “Fate is a lousy traitor” – two things that don’t go together at all, like I STILL BELIEVE proves. We reveal more about this in our review.
But their love is put to a tough test…
In terms of staging, “I Still Believe” is certainly impressive. The director brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin, who are already familiar with the segment of Christian propaganda films (who together have already directed the similarly positioned films “I Can Only Imagine” and “October Baby”), base their film on the works of Nicolas Sparks. They begin their story in front of a spectacular sunrise. In the glossy camera shots of her regular cameraman Kristopher Kimlin, the sun is often low and creates dreamy images in front of which the main characters look even more dreamily into each other’s eyes. The music also plays a significant role in “I Still Believe” – as is to be expected for a film about a highly successful musician. On the one hand, that’s actually quite nice, because anyone who is even slightly receptive to ballad-heavy country pop will get some nice numbers presented here.
“When Melissa compares herself to the stars in the universe in minute-long vows of love, it may sound poetic on paper, perhaps in the form of a poem to her loved one. But these are not at all authentic dialogues between teenagers in love.”
On the other hand, the moments in which Jeremy takes out his guitar also seem extremely contrived. And by that we don’t mean so much the countless stage appearances or the scene in which he sings to his fiancée at the hospital bed. And speaking of music: With the best will in the world, we wouldn’t have seen that the role of Jeremy’s mother would be played by the once successful country singer Shania Twain (“That don’t impress me much”).
Conclusion: Christian propaganda kitsch in the guise of a romantic youth drama – as beautiful as it all looks and sounds, everything else is difficult to bear.
“I Still Believe” can be seen in USA cinemas from August 13th.