Films from Christian companies are either disastrous duds (Blue Like Jazz) or a splendid success (October Baby). This is one I didn’t really know anything about, but did rent. Still it had potential. Turns out, it isn’t anything unique but is special.
Heaven is Waiting (2011) Film Review
It’s been three years since the death of Ned Steven’s wife, Kate (Melanie Nelson). Though he moves past the initial grief, Ned (Curt Doussett) still clings to her memory and converses with her every day. Kate thinks it’s time for Ned to move on, possibly to love again. His jogging partner, Carol (Michelle Money) sounds like a good match to Kate, but Ned sees himself only as a confirmed widower.
On break for a few days from college, his daughter, Liz (Brittany Peltie) decides to come home with a “friend” in tow. It’s a friend who turns out to be a senior, a male senior, named David. This sends Ned’s world spinning as he watches his little girl delight in the joy of first love. But in trying to hold tighter to Liz, she turns the tables on him by encouraging a relationship with Carol.‘HEAVEN IS WAITING’ (2011) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Movies that don’t have the benefit of big budgets have to work that much harder to win over an audience. This isn’t for everyone, however the script doesn’t have to work all that hard to captivate me. Using conversations with his wife as a plot thread is kind of distasteful to me. I’ve seen too many films use this, and fail. Here, it’s rather sweet and charming, much to my own surprise. The film gets off to a slow start and does maintain a slow pace but it has so much joy that it’s hard not to find it infectious.
Once the film settles into its pace and we learn these conversations aren’t a one-time thing, there’s so much to enjoy. Liz is adorable both as a character and the actress who plays her. I like her happy-go-lucky personality and the close relationship she has with her father. Equally touching is Ned’s inability to let go of his baby girl, which reminds us of the iconic Father of the Bride film. I like everyone except for David who is a bit too “goofy” (can I help it if I detest the “shaggy” haircut on guys!?).
There are lots of bright scenes and a cute romantic sequence between Ned and Carol. Likewise, the script is fabulous in how it uses humor that’s actually funny. If you prefer glossy, high-tech films, this isn’t for you but if you enjoy an easy-going story about the hardships of saying “good-bye” and letting go, Heaven is Waiting (also Midway to Heaven)is something to consider. It creates its own kind of ‘heaven’ and knows how to draw its audience in through reality, not fantasy.
You can find Heaven is Waiting digitally on Amazon Video
Content: 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. The film is PG.