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In that sense, the film is somewhat metafictive, in the sense that it's about the industry in which it exists. Grace has to choose church music over professional performance. But it's equally important that it is clear that she is every bit as talented as her secular counterparts. She has to come home, humbled—but only after succeeding. If Christian music (or film?) is less prestigious than its secular counterparts, at worst this is a love offering that talented Christians make because hiding your light under a bushel is always preferable to being a light in a dark place. If Hollywood weren't such a sinful place, we'd all be raking in Grammy awards faster than Taylor Swift can drink a Coke.

So what's good about it? Well, though I've been crotchety here, I can tell you that the audience I saw the film with adored it. The performers make the most of some thin material; Denton and co-star Shawnee Smith project a mutually loving and supportive marriage. Kevin Pollak sidesteps the film's biggest potential landmine by making Frank a grown up, rather than a predator. Michael Welch performs altar call duties with a soft touch and the requisite earnestness, pointing Grace (and us) to the film's devotional tie-in, Own It, rather than trying to walk her through the four spiritual laws. That devotional tie in is yet another clue that the film wants young Christian viewers not to bring and evangelize their friends, but to consider their own faith. Grace Unplugged may be a film that only a Christian could love, but there seemed to be plenty of Christians loving on it in the audience.

Caveat Spectator

Grace Unplugged shows some drinking and some family arguments. Grace gets a present of some lingerie, and she overhears a date talking in generic terms about his plans for having sexual intercourse.

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