The Christian Chill
The sudden death of an old friend leads a group of old friends and their other halves to come together for the funeral. But whilst their friendships have remained strong, life has lead each of them on different paths and with different people in their lives. For Jeremy Evans (David A.R. White - In the Blink of an Eye) this reunion leads to him seeking guidance from God as he has been dating Rachel (Staci Keanan - Sarah's Choice) for two years but on seeing his former girlfriend, Sherry (Tracy Melchior), realises he still feels something for her. Meanwhile the rest of the friends find them selves dealing with Harold's (Gregg Binkley) wife Rhonda (Autumn Paul) whose passion for God and the bible has led to her having some very strong and outspoken views unaware of how judgemental and harsh she has become.
I like sitcoms such as "Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory" but have found myself wondering whether a Christian version of one of these comedies could ever work. It is a thought which often makes me wonder whether mainstream movies could be reworked as Christian movies as well and "Hidden Secrets" showed me that the right sort of movie could be turned in to a Christian movie. You see "Hidden Secrets" is a Christian take on the whole reunion storyline and in fact elements of it strongly remind me of "The Big Chill" with it being a friend's death bringing old friends together. And let me just say right now that yes "Hidden Secrets" doesn't have that same level of production that many mainstream movies have but at the same time it has a much better level of production than some Christian movies have.
Now what this means is that "Hidden Secrets" has some familiar themes running through it as whilst the focus is on Jeremy dealing with who he really loves when it comes to his current girlfriend and his high school sweetheart we also have characters who have secrets and in some ways problems which they have been running from. The interesting and entertaining aspect of this is how it brings in the Christian side of things and that comes from the intentionally full on Rhonda who is extremely judgemental of others but is unaware that she is. It makes this a movie which is comical yet it manages to explore themes such as abortion, homosexuality and forgiveness without being heavy hitting.
Now I mentioned the production values of "Hidden Secrets" and the one reason I say that this ended up stronger than other Christian movies I have watched is that the characters connect in a smooth manner. Basically there is a scene where the guys decide to repair a broken roof on a house and you would believe that the actors involved had been friends from their childhood and were having fun like the years in-between had never happened. But those characters who are there to provide laughs be it Staci Keanan being a bit manipulative as Rachel or Autumn Pail as Rhonda embrace their characters rather than coming across as awkward playing an intentionally forced character.
What this all boils down to is that I really enjoyed "Hidden Secrets" and this is one Christian movie I know I will be watching again due to the fun, friendly nature of it. What I would say is that like with many Christian movies this is one which is likely to entertain Christians more but there is something about it, the fact it isn't overly evangelical or heavy handed that may make it entertain those who aren't already Christians.