Film Review by Kam Williams
Childhood Sweethearts Face Adversity in Bittersweet Tale of Undying Love
When he was only seven years-old, Ben (Jonathan Patrick Moore) moved with his family to the U.S. from Great Britain. What the young immigrant liked best about his new home was his cute next-door neighbor, Ava (Erin Bethea), an adorable, little girl exactly his age.
The two kids immediately forged a friendship that not only endured through childhood but blossomed into romance once they hit puberty. It even survived the separation which resulted when Ava went away to college while her beau stuck around town, dividing his time between driving a limo and interning at his father's architectural firm.
Eventually, Ben proposed and the lovebirds married, just like everybody who knew them expected. They were eager to start a family, and became elated to learn that Ava was expecting. Unfortunately, she would subsequently suffer a miscarriage caused by a suspected tumor.
Medical tests ordered by her doctor (Terry O'Quinn) confirm the presence of a malignancy. Consequently, the newlyweds suddenly find themselves dealing with a dire diagnosis on the Cancer Ward instead of playing with a bouncing bundle of joy on the Maternity Ward.
That is the sobering premise of New Life, a bittersweet tale of undying love marking the directorial debut of actor Drew Waters (Parkland). Ostensibly designed with Evangelicals in mind, the faith-based parable probably has more of an appeal for the Christian crowd than for general audiences.
To its credit, the PG-rated production isn't all that heavy-handed in terms of sermonizing. Still, its thinly-veiled moralizing is ultimately undermined by that bummer of a development which, quite frankly, proves to be irreversibly morose. Who goes to the movies to get depressed?
Good (2 stars)
Rated PG for mature themes
Running time: 88 minutes
Studio: Red Sky Studios
Distributor: Argentum Entertainment
To see a trailer for New Life, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Roza_FjwEWE