Written by: Wally Veazie | Directed by: Jessica Koloian | Genre: Drama / Faith-based
Christine (Jessica Koloian) is checking her phone - what would we do without those glorious devices now, right? I only mention the whole phone thing because this is one of those films that superimposes every text the character is writing or receiving. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of this new 'thing' that's been happening for a while now in films, but in this case, it works really well for this very touching movie. It actually serves a purpose by moving things along. Christine is counting down the days until graduation, and we quickly learn that her mom and sister are present, but her Dad is not in the picture anymore, or at least not in the house anymore.
Christine's mother (Jennifer Taylor) seems very young, beautiful, and deeply a woman of faith, which causes a bit of a clash with her oldest daughter. Christine likes to work out at the gym. She likes to go jogging, and she likes to hang out with her friends. Eventually, she runs into her Dad (Tim Bensch), who introduces her to his new girlfriend. He offers her keys to his new condo, which she refuses. She's very bitter towards her Dad, obviously. Like most students, extra credit work is always needed, so Christine takes a job looking after a terminally ill little boy Logan (Carter James). I should mention that her paper for school is on God, so she's watching videos and comes across a cool, hip, sword-wielding priest (Mike Markoff) who has a YouTube channel. This is what you call foreshadowing in the movie business. So, this is where she receives a call from her Aunt. Mom is in the hospital and has had a stroke.
Her friends come to meet her at the hospital. So does Dad. It seems that Dad has feelings for his wife, with whom he just served divorce papers. Flashbacks to happier times and troubled times ensue - used excellently, I might add. Meanwhile, Christine finds herself at the hospital's chapel. Surprise!!!! Father Matthew, the sword-wielding priest, just happens to pop through the door. He's never met anyone who's actually watched his YouTube channel. Father Matthew takes Christine on a tour of his church to inspire her. If I say any more, it would be a spoiler for sure. So I will say this, I cried during this movie! There, I admitted it. Of course, that means that it was a very moving flick which also means that this film was very well written, acted, and produced overall. I guessed early on that I was in for an excellent film experience, and "Christine's Wager" didn't disappoint. This was one of those movies that technically doesn't leave a lot to complain about - and the story just hits you right in the feels. For anyone reading, keep in mind this is a faith-based drama. So, know what to expect going in. Bravo to the whole crew - from the writing, direction, editing, and sound - top-notch work!!! I give this film an awesome four and a half stars. Thank you for reading.
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