Believe Me is a comedy/drama featuring four completely broke college guys (Alex Russell, Miles Fisher, Sinqua Walls, Max Adler) in desperate need of money and completely out of ideas as to how to change their situation. Lead character Sam, (Alex Russell) faced with the reality of having to withdraw from his last semester of college or pay an unmet semester balance, crafts a clever plan. He convinces his three frat buddies to pose with him as Christians and join an evangelistic tour to raise money for a charity they totally fabricate. Their intent is to scam a profit by taking from the top of the collections plate before the money is counted.
Named as “The God Squad” they quickly realize to succeed at their plan they must figure out a way to fit in with the Holier-than-thou Jesus culture. They set out to learn “Christianese” in order to become “one of them.” This is where the parody of Christian culture comes in to play. The writers (Michael B. Allen and Will Bakke) manage to find a humble balance between their characters being respectfully over-the-top in some scenes yet perfectly spot-on in others, without coming across as inappropriately depicting the many personifications of “Christian” behavior.
Believe Me uses humor to relate to its viewers yet the real question explored by the movie hits close to home for Believers and poses a deeper question for non-believers to wrestle with; whether or not people actually want to do good, or simply want to feel like they’re doing good. Do people more just want follow the Christian culture or do they truly desire to follow God?
Although at the end, the movie does lead the viewer in answering these questions, at the same time it gives the viewer the opportunity to look within and answer for themselves.
Sadly, some in the “Christian” culture will probably be offended by the film, others may dismiss the deeper questions raised because they do hit close to home by depicting a not too pretty reality that lies hidden underneath churches and ministries. But hopefully, most will see the parody and humor and appreciate the film’s quality and realness.
Keep in mind this is NOT the typical brand faith-based film of years gone by. It is rated PG-13 because of its relevant edginess. It does contain mild profanity, some alcohol abuse, and depicts the sometimes unpopular realism of today’s Christian Culture. I found it funny and unfortunately true in its depiction of how some Christians, churches and ministries operate within the culture known as the Christian community. This movie should strike a chord within all who claim to be Christians by challenging believers to ask themselves tough questions about how authentically they walk out their faith. It will challenge non-believers to give faith a closer look and hopefully discover the truest authenticity and freedom adventure lies through grace.
Lacrae Moore, the Grammy award-winning rapper plays the role of Dr. Darnall Malmquist. When asked why he chose to launch his acting career by debuting in Believe Me, he responded, I’m glad to be a part of a film I ‘Believe’ in.” The rapper also appeared in the 2002 made for television movie “A Cross to Bear.”
I would give this film a 3.5 star rating.
Rating: PG-13 for some language.
Industry Rating: PG-13 for some language
Starring: Lacrae Moore, Alex Russell Miles Fisher, Sinqua Walls, Max Adler
Opening In Theaters: Sep 26, 2014
Directed By: Will Bakke
Company: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Writers: Michael B. Allen, Will Bakke
Director: Will Bakke