Some of the criticisms are well earned, while others reflect the industry’s unease when it comes to religion.
So the plot of “Believe Me,” opening nationwide and on VOD services Sept. 26, sounds like more of the same. Except the film was made by folks who share a deep sense of faith.
The film follows Sam (a charming Alex Russell), a broke college student who gets his pals to tour the country raising money for a faith-friendly cause. Only Sam is a fraud, a young man of no discernible faith planning to use the funds to pay his student loans.
The comedy shows Christians all too willing to believe anything, so long as the pitch men speak nicely, smile broadly and are standing up on a big stage.
The array of flawed characters is impressive for a genre which sometimes works without enough shades of gray.
It’s hard to imagine a movie like “Believe Me” opening a decade ago, especially as faith-based films were still struggling to reach the marketplace. No more. Now, both mainstream and indie studios acknowledge the clout of faith-based filmmaking. “Believe Me” suggests a new, bold direction for the genre.
DID YOU KNOW: “Believe Me” co-star Miles Fisher, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tom Cruise, imitated the actor discussing Scientology for 2008’s “Superhero Movie.” That clip quickly earned more than 10 million views online.