LOVE WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE – Movieguide

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LOVE IT WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE is a one-hour documentary airing on Redeem TV about one man’s troubled family and how a tragic accident leads to transformation through the power of Grace of God. Chris Conlee, the youngest of three children, is the central character of this documentary and the main narrator. Other family members chime in through interview clips, interwoven with re-enactments. Conlee exposes his own unique life journey and the universal need for inner healing that only God and the gospel of Jesus Christ can provide. Ultimately, Chris Conlee must decide whether to invite his estranged father into his life as a grandfather to his children.

LOVE WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE uses precise editing, skillful personal storytelling, a realistic script, and professional camerawork to grab the viewer’s attention. He invites a personal reflection on his own story and his need for hope and healing. The reality of shattered lives in the film leads to a cautionary note for young children. LOVE WORKS has a strong Christian worldview that tells viewers, “If it’s broken, Jesus can fix it.”

(CCC, BBB, H, Ab, V, S, DD, M):

Dominant worldview and other worldview content/elements:

A very strong Christian and biblical worldview includes such things as a surprise discovery of the Bible of a deceased family member who gives a handwritten word of life in the margins, a Christian summer camp experience, the leadership in a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, unexpected family baptisms, and forgiveness and healing occur in nuclear family relationships, but the opening moments depict a humanistic life without God that testifies to a humanistic world where workaholic tendencies are cherished for achieving financial success, climbing the social ladder is prioritized through golf and country club life, and bad, even violent, adult tantrums rule when others do not meet personal requirements

Coarse language:

No foul language

Violence:

The opening scene shows a gun in hand as she re-enacts a screaming argument between husband and wife; husband tells their eldest teenage son that he is going to shoot the son’s mother, a subsequent argument takes place at the family dinner table, the father picks up a watermelon and slams it on the table, a car hits a railroad track is actually suggested but not shown, at the start a teenager is shown happily driving his car when suddenly a noisy train rolls down the tracks and surprises the viewer, while a narrator describes the details of the fatal accident

Sex:

“Other wives” are mentioned as a possibility in the father’s life in the re-enactments, although nothing else is mentioned or depicted

Nudity:

NO NUDITY

Alcohol consumption :

No alcohol consumption

Smoking and/or drug use and abuse:

There is a brief mention made of drug abuse by a runaway, but this is not depicted; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:

Dysfunctional family representation(s)/elements, as already noted above in other categories.

**TV GUIDE**

TITLE: **If It’s Broken, Jesus Can Fix It**

Title: LOVE WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE

Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1

SUBTITLES: None

WARNING CODES:

Language: None

Violent: V

Gender: None

Nudity: None

TV RATING: Unrated

RELEASE DATE: November 4, 2022

DURATION: 59 minutes

STARRING: Chris Conlee, Lynn Conlee, Janice Conlee, Karin Conlee, Alan Pittman, Sheila Cassady, Drew Shelton, Chris Loftis, Lucas Rayburn, Raegan Santucci

DIRECTOR: David Peter, Kathi Peters, Staley Colvert

PRODUCERS: Kathi Peters

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Bill Curtis, Linda Curtis

Screenwriter: Chris Conlee

BASED ON THE BOOK: LOVE WORKS: THE KEY TO MAKING LIFE WORK by Chris Conlee

DISTRIBUTOR: Redeem TV/Christian History Institute

GENRE: Documentary

TARGET AUDIENCE: Teenagers and adults

REVIEWER: The Reverend Dr. Gary Olsen

A gun in hand is the film’s first visual, and screaming voices are the first sound. Both make the viewer’s heart beat faster. The screams come from a man and a woman arguing. The gun is in the adult male’s hand in the verbal battle. A teenager enters the living room, the place of the domestic argument. He then rushes to the back of the house to instruct his younger brother, found in a back bedroom. As the teenager returns to the living room brawl, the younger brother runs out of the house and through the woods, following his brother’s instructions to get to the police station.

The younger brother turns out to be Chris Conlee, the central character of this documentary, and the main narrator of LOVE WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE. Chris shares his story and the truth of his family as he experienced it. Other family members will chime in through interview clips, intertwined with other re-enactments and sightings of Chris. Through LOVE WORKS, Conlee describes her unique life journey. Yet all the while, he increasingly communicates the universality of broken family relationships and the need for inner healing in every human life that only God can provide.

Conlee delves into the lives of her parents, especially her father. A high school dropout, his father became a U.S. Army veteran, a successful and hardworking local businessman as a bread distributor, country club golf champion, and unstable family personality. Next, Conlee depicts the influences of her older sister and brother, and the tragedy that ends the young life of her older brother, Bubba. Even so, Bubba will continue to impact Chris and his family. A few years later, the family church would find Bubba’s personal Bible on one of their pews. A 15-year-old Chris will find Bubba’s handwritten note there in the margin declaring Colossians 3:2 (“Set your eyes on things above, not on earthly things”) as Bubba’s chosen life verse. This discovery will inspire Chris to “think above” and set him on his own journey of faith.

Other spiritual growth milestones are chronicled, including a commitment to Christ at Christian summer camp, leadership in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (aka FCA) chapter at the University of Memphis, impact of the Experiencing God Bible study and the reunion of the woman who would eventually join him in marriage. Seminary, full-time ministry, and church planting follow, along with the making of a family of his own. It’s this latest development that will bring Chris Conlee to a key personal decision-making struggle: whether or not to invite his estranged father into his life as a grandfather to his children.

LOVE IT WORKS: A STORY OF HEALING AND HOPE tells this story with candid honesty, expert editing, and quality cinematography that combine to keep viewers engaged during the hour-long documentary. As a story of fathers and sons, flawed marriages and family tragedies, LOVE WORKS stays real with the brokenness, while revealing wholesome spiritual answers with an understated, factual style that builds throughout the film. As the title suggests, there is hope and healing available.

Make no mistake, LOVE WORKS has a strongly dominant Christian worldview. Still, it’s not quite discernible in the first third to half of the film. The opening moments depict a life without God that testifies to a humanistic worldview. For example, workaholic tendencies are valued for financial success; climbing the social ladder is a priority through golf and country club life; and, bad, even violent, adult tantrums reign when others fail to meet personal demands. Ultimately, however, a strong Christian worldview is represented via several plot developments. A surprise find of a deceased family member’s Bible gives a handwritten word of life in the margins. A Christian summer camp conversion occurs. There is a call to leadership in a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a call to effective congregational ministry. Unexpected family baptisms take place. Additionally, forgiveness and healing are celebrated in nuclear family relationships. LOVE WORKS wraps all of these things up in a true-life story that’s told compellingly and frankly. Caution for young children is probably good to follow, but the film should lead to some worthwhile talking points for older kids and adults alike.

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