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Movie Review

Grace Unplugged

Christopher Gildemeister

Release Date: 10/3/2013

MPAA Rating: PG : Description: For thematic elements and brief teen drinking

Starring: AJ Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Michael Welch, Shawnee Smith

Grace Trey is a frustrated young woman. The daughter of former “one-hit wonder” pop singer Johnny Trey, Grace has been raised in a deeply Christian home, the result of Johnny having found God after a wild, rebellious youth. But in his desire to see that Grace doesn’t repeat his mistakes, Johnny has been overprotective and domineering, and refuses to see that his “little girl” has grown into a beautiful woman with musical career ambitions of her own. When Johnny’s old manager Mossy approaches him with an offer for a reunion tour, Johnny refuses – but Grace jumps at the opportunity, moves to Los Angeles, and impresses Mossy and others with her talent. But the music industry and celebrity lifestyle hold many perils for an innocent newcomer far from home, and Grace begins falling under their spell…and losing both her faith and her way.

Grace Unplugged is a sincere, heartfelt, and deeply moving story about teenagers becoming adults and making adult choices, and parents learning to “let go and let God.” The film contains no content to concern parents; during her time in Hollywood, Grace gets mildly drunk once, and others try to persuade her that “your body is your currency, and sometimes you have to spend it”; but nothing truly scandalous or disturbing is shown. Violence, sex, and profanity are nonexistent, and even God’s name is never taken in vain. Johnny’s spiritual struggles are shown (his best friend is his church’s pastor), and Grace goes through similar struggles while alone in Hollywood.

A brilliant and realistic portrait of how faith and morals can be slowly and subtly eroded when one focuses more on oneself, one’s own desires, and “the world” than on family and God, Grace Unplugged never becomes overtly “preachy.” In an era when so many teens dream of fame – spurred on by a relentless entertainment and celebrity culture – it also serves as a much-needed cautionary tale of being careful about what one wishes for. That star AJ Michalka (a committed Christian) has in real life herself faced such temptations in Hollywood only adds to the picture’s power.

Backed by Michalka’s magnificent original soundtrack, and conveying deeply powerful spiritual and moral lessons and genuine emotions, the Parents Television Council enthusiastically awards Grace Unplugged the PTC Seal of ApprovalTM. The PTC recommends this movie for all viewers over age five.

To read PTC’s review with Grace Unplugged star AJ Michalka, click here.

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For more info, see the Grace Unplugged website.