TO SAVE A LIFE (Brian Baugh). 120 minutes..
TO SAVE A LIFE (Brian Baugh). 120 minutes. Opens Friday (February 26). For venues and times, see Listings. Rating: N
To Save A Life is a poorly made mess that purports to be about teen suicide but is actually about its teen hero embracing some undefined brand of Christianity. Even a Christian viewer in search of Christian entertainment will find nothing here but religion reduced to clichés, and drama to soggy cardboard.
High school senior Jake Taylor (Randy Wayne) has a good life: girlfriend, buddies and an athletic scholarship to the university of his dreams, but he feels bad when a former best friend, dropped for being uncool, commits suicide. Then his parents split up and his girlfriend gets pregnant.
Jake gradually becomes Christian through conversation with Chris, the hip young pastor who can talk to today’s youth. This is a guy who, when our hero says he’s not religious, replies, “Me neither.” Talk about bad faith. To make it worse, he’s mixed a bit higher than the other voices, so every platitude pierces the ears.
Teen suicide, seldom dealt with in a meaningful way, gets reduced to loneliness and a plot device.
The movie plods along with dragged-out scenes, bland visuals and a steady stream of mediocre rock tunes to sell the emotion that the script and acting completely fail to convey.