"Beautiful but Convoluted Path"
What You Need To Know:
The direction in LIKE ARROWS is good. The dialogue is very real. The acting is exemplary. However, unlike an arrow, the story meanders because there’s no clear target. The movie could have been easily fixed in script form. As it is, though, Christians will enjoy the movie. In fact, parents will learn much from it. However, it may not attract a really broad moviegoing audience, which is too bad because LIKE ARROWS teaches a lot of good things about parenting in a dramatic, engaging format.
LIKE ARROWS is beautifully filmed, well-acted and has good dialogue in a meandering story about a married couple spending a lifetime learning how to parent their children.
The movie opens very powerfully with Alice telling Charlie she’s pregnant. She thinks she’s messed up and remembers all the times her mother told her she was a mess. After some argumentation, Charlie decides to do the right thing and proposes to Alice.
Alice is overwhelmed by the prospect of parenting. The nurse who helps her deliver her baby invites her to church. Alice convinces Charlie they might find support in church, but life is still not easy when they have their first child, Ron. When they have their second child, Alice is told that Kate won’t be able to go to preschool at church because she keeps hitting the other children. Alice tries to talk to Charlie about it, but he’s too busy.
The movie skips ahead, and Charlie is still too busy, but he’s losing his children. Kate is going out with all the wrong guys and was thrown out of one guy’s car. Now, Alice and Charlie have four children, another boy named Joshua and an adopted Asian girl named Faith.
Finally, they go to the church to seek help. They learn children need direction. They are arrows in the quiver of the parents, gifts from God, and they need a target. Now, Charlie decides to devote his life to his family. They start reading the Bible together, and there’s a dramatic change.
But, they’ve lost Ron. He is a genius and has headed off to a secular college, but he has marijuana in his car and a book attacking Christianity. He disappears from their life for 30 years. The other children do very well, and eventually they throw their parents a 50th anniversary party, presenting them with beautiful tributes. However, will Ron ever return home?
The direction in LIKE ARROWS is good. The dialogue is very real. The acting is exemplary. However, unlike an arrow, the story meanders because there’s no clear target. It is, in fact, an excellent Hallmark type movie, but movies are propelled by plot.
A plot is defined by its premise or target where it is aimed, or punch line. FINDING NEMO is about finding Nemo. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is about showing George it’s a wonderful life. As Aristotle says, story and plot are first, character second, dialogue third, idea fourth, then music, and special effects, which can include cinematography and editing.
The movie could have been easily fixed in script form. As it is, though, Christians will enjoy the movie. Parents will learn from the movie. However, it may not attract a really broad moviegoing audience, which is too bad because LIKE ARROWS teaches a lot of good things about parenting in a dramatic, engaging format.
LIKE ARROWS will screen May 1 and May 3 at local movie theaters through Fathom Events.