Hope can come from unexpected places and often its those with less who make life worth more.
Such is the case for Calvin (Kristoffer Polaha), a former professional baseball player who has lost his way and turned to alcohol to ease his pain. A chance meeting with Produce (David DeSanctis), a young-man with Down Syndrome who works at the local supermarket, strikes up an unexpected friendship that sets Calvin on the path to recovery and acceptance.
The schmaltzy premise and Godspeed production house need not set off any alarm bells as this Christian-based tale is far from preachy, offering instead a heart-warming family film about friendship and self-acceptance.
The characters are all clichéd and the dialogue equally so, but it’s relatively well-realised by writer/director Chris Dowling and cast. The predictable path of the plot would have been better served by building some anticipation with a few twists, but it is nonetheless a journey worth taking, full of positive messages and only a hint of religious influence.
Those who are religious will no doubt see the divine message of love between the opening and closing titles while those who are not shouldn’t judge without seeing it. As a non-religious person myself, putting scepticism aside provided an enjoyable 90 minutes and a refreshing break from the usual friction-filled dramas that grace my screens.
For a family, the film offers necessary messages about acceptance of self and of others, along with positive examples of having courage against the odds.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 7
Where Hope Grows is out now on DVD