‘1 MESSAGE’ (2011)

January 27, 2013 8 Comments

Production companies without the backing of a major studio seem to understand that audiences want films with purpose. One that will resonate with us in ways the latest blockbuster doesn’t. Not strictly categorized as “Christian,” this unknown film has a message, one that nearly makes up for some story telling with flaws.

1 Message (2011) Film Review

Becca Norris (Ashley Kate Adams) is bitter. Her life is nothing like the vibrant one she did enjoy. Now instead of wedding plans, she lays around on her couch feeling ugly and miserable with no job or motivation to leave her home. She’s scared to live. Following her breast cancer diagnoses, Becca refuses to speak to her estranged mother let alone her best friend and only tolerates her brother’s impromptu visits because he won’t take “no” for an answer. Hoping to inspire his sister, he sets her up with a new computer so she will pick up a hobby or two. In sarcasm, Becca tries to appease him and she begins to input their family history on an ancestry website. Only she receives a reply from someone.

‘1 MESSAGE’ (2011). A film from Echo Bridge about a woman who exchanges letters with a stranger who helps her emotionally heal after cancer. All text © Rissi JC

Dean Stovall contacts Becca in a friendly email that she responds to with hostility. Over time, Becca’s resistance fades and in Dean’s outgoing, friendly letters, she begins to crave life again, realizing that beauty isn’t an outward façade but what’s on the inside that matters.

While visiting the new Christian book store, on a whim, I bought this. Strictly from a story-telling perspective, this isn’t a bad way to spend an evening. Sure, it lacks flair and the usual “oomph” that so many movies have, but something tugs at our heartstrings. Perhaps it’s the “real” way in which actress Ashley Kate Adams carries the film (no small task since she is basically the only one on-screen), or the script’s honesty, something makes want to know the end of Becca’s journey; whatever it may be.

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To be honest, this does bore me a time or two. It moves at the pace of a turtle and clocks in at nearly three hours. My mom and I were watching, and both of us kept saying, this must be nearly over, and yet it continues on. It’s only after we turned it off for the night we realized the thing had another good thirty minutes. The romantic in me adores Becca’s relationship with Dean; getting to know one another through letters is a sweet part. It’s pure and loving and most of all, it’s all building blocks on good friendship. He’s there when her world falls apart, literal distance didn’t prevent him from “saving” her, and similarly, she repays the kindness with something more precious.

Because of the pace, the impact is emotional. There is quiet beauty and once those credits roll on a sudden ending, we did like the film. Taking a different approach to telling a story should be admired and this one is honest about the aspect of life in which we close ourselves off from everyone – sometimes simply for selfish reasons and not for catastrophic health complications. Some cynics will also find the end result a bit selfish. If you are someone who doesn’t mind wiping a tear away or acting that is sometimes disjointed, then 1 Message is worth looking into. It’s not warm and cuddly or a good family film but it does have a message worth unwrapping.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find 1 Message digitally on Amazon Video

Content: There is some “blunt” conversation regarding cancer and its surgery. A woman is seen becoming sick after seeing her body for the first time [this is off camera]. Implications suggest Becca lives with her boyfriend on occasion and there are mild suggestions to an intimate relationship.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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8 Comments

  • Rosie January 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    To say the least, I'm not the kind of person who can just sit through boring moments. :( Sounds like a cute movie! Though, I probably will pass on it. Glad you liked it! Great review!

    • Rissi January 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      If this movie had moved at a faster clip, it would have been quite interesting just because it actually tells a good, "real" story. Given that it clocked in at nearly three hours, it really misses too much of an opportunity. Sadly between its ambiguous end and eventual sadness, it isn't worth looking too hard for.

      Thank you so much for reading, Rosie! :)

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com January 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Sounds nice. But thanks for the warning on the pace.

    I completely agree that we do want more films with depth.

    • Rissi January 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah, sadly, the pace suffers horribly. It's too bad though because yes, this is a "real" story that has more depth than most movies at movie stores.

      Thanks so much for reading, Juju! :)

  • Anonymous October 24, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I enjoyed the movie. Yes it was long however it brought a message. In the world we live in today all we hear is gloom. I was crying at the end it was not what I expected. We need more love like that in this world.

    • Rissi October 27, 2015 at 3:28 am

      I think my biggest complaint would be the length. I admired the message the writing intended, but I think with the length, some of that impact was lost. But then, I'm glad to know you enjoyed it despite the length. :) It's always fun to know what others felt or thought, so thanks for the comment.

  • Eileen May 9, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    I enjoyed it so very much and did a few tears at the endit was slow and long; but so true to real life situations.

    • Rissi JC May 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      This is definitely one of those movies I can only watch once.

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