I'M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL
True Change Starts with the Heart
Starring: Michael Madsen, Stephen
Baldwin, Adrienne Bailon,
Vincent Pastore, Martin Kove,
Ja Rule, Toby Mac, T-Bone,
Michael Rivera, David Thomas,
Adrian Bustamante, Tara
Audience: Older children and adults
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: High Top Releasing/Film
Director: Steve Race
Executive Producer: Israel Houghton, Gerald T.
Producer: Sean Dinwoodie, Galley Molina,
Michael K. Race, Steve Race
Writer: Galley Molina
The movie stars rapper Ja Rule as Miles Montego, who’s living the high life with plenty of money to spare. A former drug dealer, Miles is now a legitimate businessman trying to turn his life around, but that doesn’t stop the DEA from spying on him.
One day, while attending a friend’s party, Miles meets Vanessa, a beautiful young girl with a charming attitude. Completely stricken by Vanessa, Miles asks her out on a date, and she agrees. Meanwhile, a DEA team led by Jason McDaniels (Stephen Baldwin) surveils Miles and his friends, looking for a crime to pin on him.
As the relationship between Vanessa and Miles progresses, Vanessa, being a model church girl, tells Miles that, to be “equally yoked” (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) together, he’ll have to consider becoming a Christian. Reluctantly, he reluctantly agrees to her request. Miles meets Vanessa’s protective mother and genuine (yet spineless) father who doesn’t seem worried that his daughter’s dating an unbeliever. As Miles begins visiting church and reading the Bible Vanessa gave to him, he starts to wonder whether a person with his past could truly change and whether God would forgive all his failures.
Miles decides that Vanessa is the girl he wants to marry. With her parents’ permission, he proposes to her, and she accepts. Then, a tragedy strikes that will provide the ultimate test for Miles’s new faith.
I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL has a lot of good production values. The cinematography is top notch, the sets are beautiful and the actors, much of them professional, pull off convincing performances, despite the mediocre script. The movie’s weakest point is the story, or lack thereof. Most of the nearly two-hour movie revolves around Miles and Vanessa’s seemingly easy relationship. There’s hardly any tension and very little drama. Also, there’s not much of a character arc in Miles, as he starts off being a nice rich guy and ends up being a nice rich guy with God. That said, the characters are charming and help make the movie watchable.
The movie’s worldview is very strongly Christian. It proclaims the gospel message with Bible verses, sermons, and prayer. However, some elements are questionable. For example, it’s unclear why Vanessa pursued a relationship with Miles in the first place due to his not being a Christian. Even though she brings up the issue from 2 Corinthians 6:14 of not being “unequally yoked” with a nonbeliever, she seems ready to marry Miles first and wait for his conversion. Also, Vanessa’s father shows little leadership in his daughter’s life and none of this is really addressed. Though Miles does show true repentance in Christ at the end, some of the Christian characters show poor judgment until that point. Vanessa does abstain from sexuality and discusses her convictions with Miles, who decides not to push the issue.
Overall, I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL has a heartfelt Christian message that many will enjoy. A light caution is advised for some brief foul language and one scene of violence.
I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL has a lot of good production values. The cinematography is top notch and the actors, much of them professional, pull off convincing performances. The weakest point of the movie is the story. Most of the movie revolves around Miles and Vanessa’s relationship. There’s very little tension and drama. The movie’s worldview is strongly Christian. It proclaims the gospel message with Bible verses, sermons and prayer, but some of the Christian characters show poor judgment. Overall, I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL has a heartfelt Christian message. A light caution is advised for some brief foul language and one scene of violence.