BodEquip Ministries - Equipping the Body of Christ to Live Abundantly.

Movie Review: What if...

Quick Plot Summary: A man, with the help of an angel, gets to revisit an important choice he made earlier in his life and live the life he would have had if he had chosen differently.

Rating: Great
Suggested Ages: 10+

This is a fairly well-made movie that genuinely is interesting, entertaining, and meaningful. It's basically a more Christianized version of the movie "Family Man" if you've ever seen that.

While browsing the video shelf of a local store, I picked this movie up on a couple of different occasions to read what it was about, and each time quickly put it back thinking "this looks over the top ridiculous" and thinking I would find it theologically offensive. But then I happened to catch the last 30 minutes of it while over at a friend's house and it genuinely looked like a good movie, so I bought it and watched the whole thing. And I was NOT disappointed.

Basically the main character earlier in his life runs from God and His call on his life, as well as his girlfriend. Later on, God (working through an angel) shows him what his life would have looked like if he had chosen differently (i.e. correctly). The guy actually starts living this "alternate reality". Eventually, after learning what he needs to learn, he goes back to his true real life with fresh perspective and a fresh start.

Theologically, yes there are of course some "issues" with this movie. I don't believe God has people live out these alternate lives nor do I think the angel portrayal is spot-on, etc. However, the movie just uses this "what if" plotline really as a showcase of its greater message. In other words, I don't think it is intended to be taken dogmatically but as a "device" to make the point. There's a relatively good salvation scene (when compared to several other "Christian/faith-based movies" that is) and there are loads of good messages in this movie.

I can say without reservation that I left this movie feeling hopeful, encouraged, and spurred-on towards making my own life count in what really matters.

The acting and production quality was relatively decent - I would put it in the "good made-for-t.v. movie" category.

All things considered, this is a good movie, but if you're watching with kids or brand-new-believers you might want to address some of the theological issues. After all, you don't want your 10-year-old thinking that God might whisk them off to live an alternate life, do you? This movie can set the stage for some interesting discussions regarding our choices, God's will for our lives, whether God is usually as "pushy" as He comes across in the movie in pushing the guy back to where He needs to be as opposed to gently nudging etc. Other discussion points could be the foolishness of waiting to the last minute to accept the Lord (as occurs with a character in the movie), what the family unit is to ideally look like - the importance of a united family, the importance of going forward into a bright future regardless of your past - that while unable to change your past choices, you can have a "new beginning" and go forward NOW with Jesus, and much more.

Reviewed by Christopher Long,
BodEquip Ministries

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