4/10 Based off of the novel by Francine Rivers, “Redeeming Love” has some strong moral messages (an increasing rarity in Hollywood these days) but a rather generic love story with clichés, coincidences and some bland characters. The movie has some strong emotional moments that will tug on your heartstrings and the setting (the California Gold Rush of 1850) provides some extra challenges for our main two protagonists, which I enjoyed. The production and costume design are well done and Abigail Cowen (Angel) gives a strong performance as she balances the confidence of having every man want her and the traumatic depression of years of sexual, physical and mental abuse. The supporting cast is strong too although I take issue with the movie’s trailer pretending that Nina Dobrev is a major part of this movie when she is only in the movie for 10-15 minutes, tops. That kind of deceptive marketing is never a good thing. Despite some solid performances, strong production/costume design and some emotional moments, this movie ends up rather forgettable and has several issues. The score is overly sentimental and rather weak while the soundtrack is completely out of place. I recently noted in my “The King’s Daughter” review how placing modern songs in movies that take place deep into the past almost never works out and “Redeeming Love” is another example of this not working at all. The songs were cheesy and unnecessary. Director D.J. Caruso’s filmography is a bit all over the map with plenty of ups and downs but his direction here is rather vanilla and lacks a noticeable fingerprint. The leading male protagonist played by Tom Lewis seemed like the male version of a Mary Sue character but lacked charisma and felt generic, like he could be replaced with any other male actor and nothing would change. Teenage girls who aren’t critiquing what they are watching will undoubtedly enjoy this movie (although it runs a little long and could trim 15 minutes) and I appreciated the movie’s moral messages. The power of prayer, overcoming trauma to make positive changes in your life, not giving up, etc. and more were just some of the positive and uplifting message the movie offers. I just wish the story would have been more original and some of the characters wouldn’t have been as bland. “Redeeming Love” has a couple redeeming qualities, but not nearly enough.

#AngelGoldDust / #WhoreibleWorkingConditions / #GoldCrush / #LoganMarshallGold / #TheTrampPriorDiaries / #DownTheWhore

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