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Heaven is Waiting (2011)

Films from Christian companies or proclaiming at the very least, Christian principles are either disastrous duds (Blue Like Jazz) or a splendid success (October Baby). This was something I rented after recognizing the name from some Christian material. I really knew nothing about it but figured it was worth the rental fee. Turns out, it isn’t anything unique but is special.

It’s been three years since Ned Steven’s wife, Kate (Melanie Nelson) passed away after a battle with cancer. Though he has moved past the outward signs of grief, Ned (Curt Doussett) is still clinging to the memory of his beloved wife by conversing with her about everyday occurrences – and their college-aged daughter, Liz (Brittany Peltier). Kate thinks that it’s time for Ned to move on and allow for the possibility of love again, particularly in relation to his jogging partner, Carol (Michelle Money) but thinking himself a confirmed widower, Ned doesn’t see what could possibly attract anyone to him. On break for a few days, Liz decides to come home with a “friend” in tow – a friend who turns out to be a senior, a male senior named David who sends Ned’s world spinning as he watches his little girl delight in the joy of first love. Unwilling to accept that his time with Liz is dwindling to an end, Ned does what he can to discourage it but when Liz turns the tables on him by encouraging a relationship with Carol, Ned just may be forced to accept that change is coming and the choices he makes will affect not only his future, but Liz’s.

Movies that don’t have the benefit of big budgets or an academy-award nominee have to work that much harder at winning over an audience and while I can easily say, this title isn’t for everyone, the script didn’t have to work all that hard to captivate me with its sweet nature. In the opening frame we see Ned placing flowers on his wife’s grave and it doesn’t take long to realize that the woman next to him is Kate. At first the plot device was distasteful for me. I’ve seen too many films that use that and fail by not using it to their advantage. Here, I was actually charmed by it – much to my own surprise and delight. The film gets off to a slow start and does maintain a slow pace throughout but it has so much joy in its premise that I was hard pressed not to find it infectious.

Once the film settles into its pace and I realized that it wasn’t going to switch up its format, I found so much to enjoy about it. Liz was adorable both as a character and the actress who played her. I enjoyed her happy-go-lucky personality and the close, respectful relationship she had with her father. Equally as touching was Ned’s inability to let go of his baby girl – it is something that will probably resonate with many fathers and their daughters, even taking us back to the iconic Father of the Bride film in certain respects. Everyone was well cast – putting up genuine character’s that were so easy for viewers to relate too with little if any superficial characteristics – save for David who I thought was a bit too “goofy” looking for his own good (can I help it if I detest the “shaggy” haircut on guys!?). Numerous scenes were well filmed including a bright and romantic sequence between Ned and Carol that impressed me with its film work. Likewise, the script was fabulous at interjecting humor – humor that is actually funny and not crude one-liners attempting to rouse us to laughter. If you prefer glossy, high-tech films, this isn’t for you but if you enjoy an easy-going story that specializes in the hardships that come with saying “good-bye” and letting go of a past that was a happy one, Heaven is Waiting (also known as Midway to Heaven) is something not to be missed. It creates its own kind of ‘heaven’ and knows how to draw its audience in through reality, not fantasy.

(What to know: Conversation reveals that a woman’s divorce was as a result of a cheating husband. Liz and Ned have a couple of spats and Ned once assumes his daughter is drinking in addition to acting inappropriately [comically so] with her boyfriend as he “spies” on her. Rated PG.) 
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  1. Thanks for the review! I enjoyed reading your thoughts. :) It sounds like a sweet movie!

    One of my favorite movies that includes the loved one who has died "coming back" to help in the letting-go process is "Always" (1989), which was actually directed by Steven Spielberg. Funny enough, I used to really dislike the movie when I was younger, because I would think, "That's not how it works! This is so untrue and strange." But once I grew up a little and learned to appreciate the deeper truths and meanings in fiction, I ended up loving the movie. :) The acting is phenomenal, and the characters are just so "real" and the love so beautiful. I know it's not for everyone, but it really ended up resonating with me and always brings me to tears when I watch it!


    1. It really was, Amber. I'd watch it again even with its flaws - they were, after all, charming. :)

      Hmmm... I've not heard of Always. I should look into that one. This type of movie is either a "hit" or "miss" for me. I liked The Lake House but didn't much care for a movie that starred Jennifer Love Hewitt along the same lines. This one isn't the best production all-around but it's sweet and today that is worth a lot.

  2. Sounds interesting. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds like it's worth checking out, so I'll put it on my list! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. It was a charming rom-com, Valerie. I liked it better than I gave it credit for. :)

  3. I didn't know that there were Christian movies. I enjoyed reading your post and it sounds like a good movie to watch.

    1. Yes, indeed, Carlyn, there are lots of Christian films though now all have a great message. This is one of the sweeter ones. :)

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Sounds pretty good and not too cheesy:)

    1. It's cute, Ella but still has its "bad" moments of goofiness. All-around, if you want a wholesome movie, this is one of the rare few. :)

  5. Oh gosh, I remember I wanted to see this purely because Miche;le Money is in it! ha
    Great review, girl!
    xo TJ

    1. Michelle plays a fun character, TJ! You should totally check it out if you like the actress.

      As always, love your comments. Thanks for reading! :)

  6. If I find this I will watch it with my mum. I've seen the cover before but haven't seen the movie and it is one she would like, from the sounds of it.

    1. Mine thought it was cute, Jack so I hope its something you and your mother enjoy. :)

  7. I loved this movie! I just saw it tonight....I especially loved the you know where I could get that music or how to listen to it again or who the artists were that recorded the songs? Just a beautiful movie! Blessings to all here!

    1. As I remember Suzie, this was a cute film. Some of the acting was a bit awkward but overall, it was a pleasant watch. :)

      Sadly, I don't know anything about the music. One name I do see associated with the film is Hilary Weeks. You can find the CD on Amazon that supposedly features some songs from the film. Sorry I wasn't more help. :/


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