To Save a Life is designed to get people talking. It wants people talking about teen suicide, divorce, parenting, cutting, drugs, pregnancy, Internet, Christian perspectives, taking your faith seriously, peer pressure, and more.
It appears that this movie was created by a church. To be honest, I’m not sure. In the “behind the scenes” footage it mentioned that the “whole church was involved.” So it is a Christian staff trying to get a Christian viewpoint across without beating people over the head with Jesus. Not an easy task to pull off.
Does the movie inspire people to talk? I watched it with my 13 year old step son, and his mother had a great talk with him after the movie. So it works.
What didn’t work for me was the ability to suspend reality a bit. In the movie, one boy pushed another boy out of the way of an oncoming car (and gets hit instead of him). This results in him having a TERRIBLE limp for the rest of his life. In 2010, I know people who have lost legs and walk better with a fake leg. I know people who have enough hardware in their leg to set off security at airports (and yet they walk fine). This may be just me, but I had a hard time letting go why he has a limp.
To Save a Life stars Randy Wayne (The Haunting of Molly Hartley, The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning), Deja Kreutzberg (TV’s “As the World Turns,” “CSI Miami”), Joshua Weigel (The Butterfly Circus), Robert Bailey, Jr. (The Happening), Kim Hidalgo (Ball Don’t Lie), Sean Michael Afable (Akeelah and the Bee), Bubba Lewis (TV’s “Medium”), and Steven Crowder (TV’s “Greek”). As I was unfamiliar with all of these actors, I didn’t expect Oscar winning performances. In the case of Deja Kreutzberg I just never bought her as a girlfriend. How hard can it be to act like you love Randy Wayne (the kid has incredible eyes)? There were some zigs and zags in the story of their romance, and I didn’t feel any of them. If they stayed together or not, I didn’t feel as if either character would care.
In the middle of the movie Josh’s character Zack has the worst day of his life (everything hit the fan). This was almost to the point of being comical. Everywhere he went, things just fell apart. I would’ve preferred to have some of the drama unfold a bit evenly.
The movie does have a decent soundtrack and koodos to Switchfoot for having the song “Dare you to move” in the movie (but oddly enough not on the soundtrack?). The soundtrack features music from Superchick, Kendall Payne, Da Enforcerz, Paul Wright and more.
The movie is rated PG-13 as it deals with all the teen issues I mentioned earlier straight on, and does not sugar coat anything.
Would I watch this movie again? No. Would I tell all my friends with kids to watch this? Absolutely.