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Review: ‘Redeeming Love’ – a sloppy adaptation of a Christian love story

By Isabelle Konopacki

While most movies cost around $65 to 100 million to make, Redeeming Love only cost around $3 million. After watching the movie I think they could have put more money into the writing and developing the plot rather than on getting the rights to some country song that played loudly in the background.

People should not go and see Redeeming Love because it is a confusingly written, underdeveloped movie with bad acting.

Redeeming Love takes place during the California Gold Rush. The movie is about a young woman named Angel, played by Abigail Cowen, who is a prostitute. A young farmer named Micheal Hosea asks God to give him a wife and the next time he goes into town he sees Angel, falls in love, and declares that he will make her his wife. Micheal later pays for visits with Angel where he unsuccessfully tries to convince Angel to marry him. After Angel is nearly beaten to death by one of the workers at the prostitution house, she finally agrees to marry Micheal and he takes her back to his farm. Angel later runs away multiple different times until she finally realizes she truly loves Micheal, and they live happily ever after. At least that is what we are meant to believe. 

While the movie may be really good for audiences who are more religious, since it is a Christian movie, Redeeming Love has a lot of flaws. 

Actor Eric Dane puts on a phenomenal performance of a pedophilic Duke who runs Angel’s old prostitution house. Similar to his role in Euphoria where he plays Cal Jacobs, a man who films himself having sex with minors, Dane makes audiences believe he really is the sick man you see on screen. 

However, not all acting in Redeeming Love is as good as Dane’s. Tom Lewis’ performance, the actor who plays Micheal Hosea, feels like something you would find in a high school play, not in a movie at the theaters. Lewis’ country accent disappears sporadically and puts on an overall bland and unmemorable performance. Throughout the whole movie, Lewis’ emotional range never goes beyond stoic. He goes through heartbreak multiple times yet never sheds a single tear. This lack of emotion does not convince audiences Micheal is in love with his wife the way he claims to be. While the acting in Redeeming Love is at best amateur, it was not the only thing sinking the movie. 

Throughout the film, the viewer is introduced to a sea full of one-dimensional characters that have few lines and no depth. There are also characters who should have gotten more screen time and depth like Lucky, played by Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who is one of Angel’s close friends when she is in the prostitution house. Lucky seems to be a funny and free-spirited friend who is always there for Angel when she is upset. However, this character is given very few lines and once Angel leaves the house we are introduced to so many people that she is forgotten by the audience. 

Later on in the movie when Angel finds out Lucky is dead, the audience can no longer remember the character, causing the death to not have as big of an impact on them. This also prevents the audience from having a connection to Angel since we can’t feel the pain she is going through since we cannot remember the character and were never exposed to how much Lucky meant to Angel. Redeeming Love seems to enjoy having their audience confused because with all of the jumping around in the storytelling they sure left me scratching my head. 

At the start of the movie we meet a younger Angel and learn a snippet of her backstory. As the movie progresses, flashbacks happen more frequently. When there is a flashback from only a few years earlier, they use the same actress, not a younger version of Angel, so it may leave viewers confused until they realize it is a flashback. Now, this would be similar to other movies such as Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane if the flashback was only used once or twice to show extremely important parts of the movie. But Redeeming Love has multiple flashbacks, most of which are used solely to add to the long list of traumas Angel has. If Redeeming Love wants people from all backgrounds, and not just heavily devoted Christians, to enjoy their movie they need to find actors who can really capture the story they are trying to display. They also need to have a more developed story, one that does not leave the audience confused as to what they just watched. Until that happens I encourage moviegoers to not waste two hours of their life watching Redeeming Love.

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