Sometimes as a Christian, it’s hard to watch faith-centered media because it focuses too often on just quoting the Bible. I’ve also never been to church camp. I’ve never sat in front of a fire and sang songs so quite frankly, it just feels too cheesy and strictly for the sake of film. (And I know this stuff happens in church camps or basically other camps, but still, something about it doesn’t feel organic to me.) Thus, with A Week Away a lot was quite frankly too much at times.
I also might be past the stage of teen campy musicals. I imagine that even films like High School Musical and Camp Rock will make me cringe these days too. Shrugs. Not everything can be as brilliant as Julie and the Phantoms and that’s okay because it does not have to be.
That isn’t to say however that A Week Away doesn’t have some sweet moments and one in particular, which was so deeply evocative, it got me. And that’s what I’m thankful for because for KING & COUNTRY’S “God Only Knows” is one of my all-time favorite songs and to have it featured saved it almost entirely. (Also, highly recommend the remix with Queen Dolly Parton.)
Bailee Madison and Kevin Quinn’s vocal chemistry in the moment was gut-wrenching and so palpable I’m glad I pulled through to watch this moment unravel. As far as performances go, the film succeeded in bringing in actors who’d make the screenplay work and feel believable. The tears in this very scene felt raw and ensured that the vulnerability of the moment translated onto the surface gorgeously.
It was the appropriate song to morph in with “Awesome God” and to bring to light all the deeply encompassing emotions the characters were living through. For ultimately, what it comes down to is the detail that sometimes showing matters more than telling and this scene shows the audience just how much is within each of them. It’s the kind of scene that reminds you of the idea that we’re all seeking and hoping that someone, anyone knows exactly what we’ve been through—how we are coping with it and how we’re projecting it. It’s a moment with a lot to say and simultaneously with a lot to show, full of performances that are genuinely moving and evocative. Therefore, it is worth every minute of the film to get to this stunning scene full of sincere vulnerability.
The thing with a film like this is that this song would have been more than enough to showcase a colossal amount of emotions and the power of belief that the film’s message was meant to address. (Which it does, don’t get me wrong. I only wish it stuck to one big moment as opposed to multiple.) A moment like this however, and with performances as moving serve as the stunning reminder of what we all want—especially with the use of this song.
We all want to believe that the God we serve and worship is looking out for us. We all want to believe that our darkness and our pain is seen. We all want to believe that through our sadness, we’ll find joy. We all want to believe that someone sees the things we don’t share with a single soul—the nights we lie awake and cry ourselves to sleep. We all want to know that someone’s looking out for us and that our prayers will be answered.
And thus every so often, you cross paths with people destined to be in your life in order to finally see those things we’ve prayed about come to life. It’s a comforting feeling to cling to that God’s plans for us always work out better in the long run. A Week Away is a film about friendships, love, and the power of steadfast faith amidst our heartaches.
A Week Away is now streaming on Netflix.