"Hard-Hitting Christian Drama"
What You Need To Know:
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS is one of the most gritty, difficult movies made by Christians recently. It might have been a great movie except it sags in the middle. Also, the unexpected ending changes the premise, and some drug and dance sequences make sin too appealing. However, MOVIEGUIDE(r) congratulates the filmmakers for encouraging the church to help those youths who’ve fallen through the cracks into self-destructive lifestyles. That said, extreme caution is advised for TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS.
(CC, BB, LL, VV, S, AA, DD, M) Strong Christian, moral worldview with some evangelistic moments in a story about a girl who cuts herself and engages in a lot of other self-destructive behavior, including a lot of drugs, but the movie avoids easy believism; 18 obscenities and one exclamatory profanity; significant violence, mostly of the girl using razor or glass to cut her arm or hand with blood dripping, but also visions of a little girl being run over by a truck, implied rape and some high jeopardy, low-life situations; implied rape and sexual innuendo; no nudity; lots of alcohol use and underage drinking, plus drunkenness; cocaine and Ecstasy use, but rebuked; and, theft, lying, anger, as well as some poignant church scenes.
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS is a very artistic, beautifully filmed, well acted, hard-hitting drama about the true story of Renee Yohe, who was bipolar, got raped and then spent years cutting herself and taking a surplus of drugs. The movie is difficult to watch in places and avoids an upbeat, positive ending.
As a little girl, Renee had a tremendous fantasy life, but soon her imagination turned on her, and she started seeing demons and evil creatures everywhere. As a teenager, She hangs out with two other teenagers, Dylan and Jessie, and refuses to take her bipolar medication.
The big man on campus invites Renee to a midnight Halloween party, gets her drunk and rapes her. This sets the stage for her cutting and drug abuse, eventually she ends up in the worst possible crack houses, where she not only gets high but also gets raped again.
Renee steals the drug dealer’s money. He pursues her, but she escapes from him. She calls Dylan and Jessie. They rescue her and try to get her into a drug rehab program. However, the rehab program won’t take her because she’s still on drugs and still cutting her body. So, a successful music producer named David, who’s been in rehab himself, takes her into his large loft so she can detox. David’s friend shows up and decides to write a blog called, “To Write Love on Her Arms.” His blog goes viral, as young men and women talk about their own bouts of depression. However, he never asks Renee for permission, and, in many ways, he’s exploiting her situation. The ending of the movie is unexpected and discouraging, although loving.
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS is one of the most gritty, difficult movies made by Christians in the last few years. David was one of the producers, and he died in a car accident. Tragically, he lost his battle with drugs.
This would have been a great movie except it sags in the middle. The first part looks like a story of how God saves Renee; the middle becomes too long a period of celebrating recovery; and, the end is totally unexpected, changing the premise and producing a realistic if not satisfying conclusion. The filmmakers were clearly well intentioned, but some of the drug and dance sequences make sin far too appealing for those who might be tempted or those who might have been in that lifestyle.
However, in the final analysis, MOVIEGUIDE(r) congratulates the filmmakers for putting out a plea to the church to help those youths who’ve fallen through the cracks into these self-destructive lifestyles. That said, extreme caution is advised for TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS.