Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly entertainment choices on film, DVDs, streaming or television.
Darren Turner is a husband, father and seminary graduate who feels called by God to be a military chaplain.
His wife, Heather, senses a calling to military life, too, and so they settle at Fort Stewart, Ga., in 2007, assuming life will be easy for a few months or even years until he is deployed.
But life rarely goes as planned. Darren gets called to Iraq for a 15-month tour, leaving Heather to take care for three young children while Darren serves the spiritual needs of soldiers in harm’s way. Young and perhaps naïve, they are confident they can keep their marriage strong with video chats, letters and an occasional phone call.
Soon, though, a crack develops in their relationship, and it only worsens when Darren returns home as a changed man. Instead of playing with the children, he now sits alone outside, contemplating the horrors of war and the friends he lost. The patient and loving person Heather once knew has been replaced with someone who is uncaring, short-tempered and argumentative.
Finally, after one frightening episode in front of the kids, he is asked to move out … perhaps for good. Can their marriage be salvaged?
The faith-based movie Indivisible (PG-13) opens in theaters Oct. 26, telling the true-life story of a military couple who had to fight to save their marriage due to the stresses of war. It stars Justin Bruening (Grey’s Anatomy) as Darren and Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy, Mom’s Night Out) as Heather, and also features Madeline Carroll (I Can Only Imagine) as a military wife.
Indivisible is No. 1 on this month’s list of “5 Family-Friendly Things.”
An embargo prevents me from disclosing too much more about the movie, but I can say this: Indivisible does a nice job portraying the stresses of military service on a family – and the determination and faith that is needed to keep it together. It’s a film that has positive messages about forgiveness and reconciliation for military and non-military families.
The movie is rated PG-13 for some thematic material and war violence, and might not be appropriate for small children.
Also worth watching this month:
2. ‘Michael Jr.: More Than Funny.’ I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy and everything that makes it great – the interaction with the audience, the impromptu responses, and, most of all, the humor. Sadly, though, most modern stand-up comedy is coarse and vulgar. Not so with comedian Michael Jr., a Christian who regularly demonstrates that the best comedy is the cleanest comedy. On Oct. 18 (one night only), moviegoers can watch Michael Jr.: More Than Funny, a film that spotlights his comedy routine but also examines three real-life stories that will inspire.
3. Baseball Shows on Amazon Prime. In many parts of the country, October means one thing: playoff baseball. To whet your appetite for the postseason – from the wild card to the World Series – type “baseball” or “MLB” into your Amazon Prime Video account. The results are impressive, from Ken Burns’ Baseball series to his film on Jackie Robinson. There are tons of other highlight videos and documentaries, too.
4. ‘The Chosen’ Pilot – This impressive 23-minute story about the birth of Christ is available free at VidAngel’s website (VidAngel.com/thechosen) and could be changing how faith-based projects are funded. That’s because director Dallas Jenkins and his team posted the pilot online and asked viewers to donate money if they wanted to see a full-fledged series like it. The result: more than $4.5 million raised through crowdfunding. Jenkins says it will be the first television series about Christ. Filming begins in November.
5. ‘Manifest’* — This Monday night NBC series is entertaining, although it comes with a major caveat. The story follows a group of airline passengers who take off in 2013 and land five years later, in 2018. It’s a science fiction series mixed with — believe it or not — faith. Romans 8:28 is a major theme of the first two episodes. This isn’t a squeaky-clean series, though. It may be best for older family members.