A new film coming to theatres on Apr. 30 will deal with controversial issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and promiscuity.
But the hot topics of Hidden Secrets are not ones being dealt by your everyday people. It's Christians who are dealing with them – an angle that may encourage viewers to look deeply at the "hidden" problems that can affect Christians as much as any other person.
"Our story is about real people with real struggles," explained David A.R. White, the film's producer and co-star, in a statement. "Christians deal with these issues every day."
The plot of the movie is driven by a group of people who return to their hometown to pay homage to the death of their good friend – a Christian who had always been there to guide them in their adversities. Many of the characters have not seen one another for years, and with the reunion, secrets begin to reveal themselves that had been hidden for a long time. Deep hurts start to emerge, and the characters must work through them through faith in God.
"We know that in churches around the country we find people who have either had an abortion, struggled with homosexuality, or given in to sexual temptation, yet we would rather not talk about it," added White. "With Hidden Secrets, we decided it was time to tear off the blinders, and let people see that Christians are affected by these issues. We want people to see that there is hope and redemption, no matter what the issue. We also wanted to approach these topics in a humorous way, because laughter helps us deal with life when it gets tough."
For the most part, the film is entertaining. They have a good assortment of character types, and show the many different varieties of Christians out there. The characters can sometimes come off as caricatures, but generally, they are a poignant look into all of faithful people's shortcomings.
"This is the first time I've read a script where the voice of skepticism is accurately written in a script about Christianity," expressed John Schneider, the main star who plays an atheist in the film.
It was fresh to see Christians not painted in an idealistic light. The intent of the movie was to show the human struggles that everyone must deal with, and it was a truer representation of Christians than can be seen in other movies.
Most viewers should be able recognize a good amount of the cast. It includes mostly television stars, including Schneider (Smallville), Tracy Melchior (The Bold and the Beautiful), Reginald Vel Johnson (Family Matters), and Staci Keanan (Step by Step). At times, the film can honestly feel like it is just a television movie, however.
Humor-wise, the movie was well done. The actors can be quite quirky at times, and they really hit the nail on the head with some of their humorous jabs at Christian critics. The way that the film can handle such heavy issues and present them in a fun and relatable manner was refreshing.
Throughout the movie, the dialogue can sometimes feel somewhat abnormal because the characters talk about faith and God a lot. But that is not really a negative thing, especially for a world that would be much better if people brought up more of the discussions that the film focused on.
As for the ending of the movie, it felt a bit rushed. The plot attempted to tie up all the ongoing themes all at once, and it did not feel totally genuine. The scriptwriter should have spaced each subplot a bit more.
The film also features music from Christian artists Building 429 and Rachel Lampa, a definite plus for music lovers.
Hidden Secrets will premiere nationally in more than 200 theaters in 26 markets around the United States. Should people fork out the cash to see it? Truthfully, it could go either way. The film is quality, but it may be a better rental than big screen flick. It is up to the viewers which they prefer.
On the web: theater locations.