My wife and I, a few scant days prior to V-day, sat down and watched a film that is new on DVD called, "The Song." It is produced by AFFIRM Films, a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment and I believe it was released straight to DVD and digital download. It was newly released, coming out on the 10th of February.
So, what were my expectations going in to what I predicted to be a Christian-themed "chick-flick" almost strong-armed upon me by my wife? Well, I expected a cookie-cutter predicable plot with cliche-ridden sappy dialogue; or the usual experience of such films as "the Notebook," "Sleepless in Seattle", or even (heaven help me) "The Proposal." Thankfully, I was quite surprised.
"The Song" may be a comedy in the literary sense, but it is not a "romantic comedy" in the vein of "The Proposal" (or any other Sandra Bullock film), "50 First Dates" (or any other Adam Sandler film), or "Runaway Bride" (or any other Julia Roberts film). Instead, the closest film I could compare it to would be "Walk the Line." It's much more dramatic than any romantic comedy I've ever seen, with a depth of character that isn't really found in most rom-coms.
This movie is essentially a dramatization of a modern-day King Solomon. The title of the movie, "The Song" intends to invoke "the Song of Songs" or "The Song of Solomon" from the Bible. Throughout the movie there is a monologue narration of scripture passages from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon that pertain to what is happening in the story.
In "The Song", the main protagonist is a man named Jedidiah (Jed) King, who is a struggling country singer/songwriter trying to escape the shadow of his famous father. The film features several biblically-themed love songs which are performed by the actors and are very catchy. The relationship between Jed and his love interest - the local vineyard owner's daughter Rose Jordan - is initially sweet, believable, and came across as genuine. The genuine feel remains even as their relationship begins to deteriorate due to his long absences while touring and his eventual infidelity. While Jed does try to restore their relationship in the end, it is clear in the movie that the pain he inflicted on Rose did not fully go away, and was not healed magically at the end, adding an element of realism to the film that I appreciated.
At times, the film was predictable. There were not many surprises in the plot, but the writing was not corny and the performances were believable. One complaint my wife has is that much of the movie is spent on Jed's failures and his descent into adultery and drug use, and the restoration of their relationship felt rushed.
The main themes in the movie are the corrupting influence of fame and money, the pain that infidelity causes in marriage, and the power of forgiveness. I ended up enjoying the experience and felt that as a film it accomplished the goal it set and that it told a compelling love story.
The film is rated PG-13. I believe this is an appropriate rating. While this film does not riddle us with scantily dressed teenagers or have any foul language, it does have some drug and alcohol use as well as some suggested philandering. I would recommend "The Song" to folks who are over 12.
The film came with a soundtrack, which features the original songs from the film, as well as a workbook written by the producer Kyle Idleman which is a 6-week couple's bible study focused on journeying through marriage together. It's called "Awaken Love." My wife and I have not yet gone through it, but it is an added resource that may help people build a stronger marriage.
Thanks to AFFIRM Films for sending us this film to review! My wife and I enjoyed it, me more than I was expecting to at the start.
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