“I Still Believe,” which hits theaters Friday, tells a story of unconditional love and the divine strength to keep believing even after unanswered prayer.
If viewers can make it past the slow start and the awkwardness of a Christian love triangle, the movie is truly a beautiful, heartbreaking love story for the ages.
“I Still Believe” chronicles the story of how the award-winning Christian singer fell in love with and married Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who died in 2001, less than a year after they were wed.
Named after Camp’s popular song, “I Still Believe” was produced under the Erwin Brothers’ newly-formed studio Kingdom, in association with Lionsgate. The film stars country singer Shania Twain, who plays the role of Camp's mother opposite actor Gary Sinise, who wonderfully portrays Camp's father. Actress Britt Robertson who gives a stellar performance of Camp's late wife, Melissa, and the role of Camp is performed by New Zealander KJ Apa, who really becomes Camp on the big screen.WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
In the film, we discover that Camp first learned the art of songwriting in college when instructed to write songs “about what you care about, write what you love.” The movie points to the idea that Camp fell in love with Melissa at first sight and would stop at nothing to win over her affection.
The movie echoed some of the same themes found in the classic film, “A Walk to Remember,” such as the romantic art of stargazing, her desire to focus on God more than falling in love and of course the ending fate.
"The God of the trillion stars knows my name and He has a destiny for me," Melissa says in the film.
Shortly after Camp and Melissa become a couple, she is diagnosed with cancer and that is when this love story really kicks into high gear.
"I just keep thinking, maybe God has chosen something bigger for me, something I wouldn't have chosen for myself,” she says. "If one person's life is changed by what I go through then it’ll be worth it.”
The movie goes on to show the power of prayer and faith, along with unconditional love as Camp willingly walks through all of it by Melissa's side.
Despite the Hollywood cast, the movie stayed true to Camp and Melissa’s faith and love story. There’s a powerful moment and teaching in the film on the women who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.
They marry, and despite some glimpses of hope, Melissa does die and we get to see Camp grapple with his faith and the disappointment of his unanswered prayers.
Today, Camp is remarried to his wife Adrienne of 16 years and they have three kids together. His new wife has been his biggest supporter throughout the years and has supported him in telling Melissa’s story.