Review: Trust Fund (a movie) and Love Was Near (a companion book)
My teen daughters and I had a delightful girls night watching Trust Fund from Mapelle Films. The companion book, Love Was Near, is a friendly way to invite teen girls to think more deeply about the issues raised by the film.
I'm a huge fan of Christian films, and Trust Fund can stand proudly among them. My girls and I were engaged with the characters and the plot quickly.
Reese is a darling young adult who is trying to stand independently, but she's not so good at it yet. She has a hard time budgeting, finishing work, choosing wisely, and understanding that the people who love her truly do have her best interests at heart. Her dad is head of a successful publishing company, and her older sister works responsibly at his side.
It doesn't take long for clashes between flighty-but-well-meaning Reese and her family to begin. Her story is the prodigal son retold with a modern and relevant twist.
And Reese's story goes beyond the forgiving welcome home party and the complaining of the older sibling that ends the Bible parable. A little romance, a little time to heal, some healthy conversations, and some hard work bring this story to a satisfying close.
Belle, age 13, says:
"I thought it was good how they transferred the story to modern times. I liked how in the end, she and her sister made up and became friends again."
Super Star, age 14, says:
"Sam was hot. :) It was a good movie. Normally I don't like romance, but this romance was okay. I would have liked it more if there was more about Milo and his illegal activities."
Pixie, age 15, says:
"I thought it was a cute romance. And I thought it gave good life lessons about making mistakes but being forgiven . . . about the consequences of mistakes but still being able to get over what you did."
Rose Red, age 17, says:
"I thought it was really good for a non-mainstream movie. It didn't seem low-budget--more like an independent film. I would never have connected the movie to the prodigal son without someone telling me. It was a clever film about forgiveness."
Then there's a companion book, Love Was Near, that is best read/worked with after watching the movie. It's a chatty, discussion-type book full of thought-provoking questions, Bible quotes, and lots of journaling prompts.
I was able to discern 4 types of entries in the book:
1. Typewritten self-analysis and factual information written in Reese's voice as as young adult reflecting back on the events of her life as related in the movie. For example from chapter 16 while Reese is reflecting on wanting to be accepted:
2. Diary entries written in Reese's voice as if she were keeping a diary over the course of the time the movie covers. For example,
3. Bible quotes highlighted as hand drawn doodles:
The four types of writing are interspersed through the book in a friendly, inviting, Reese-is-my-girlfriend-who-understands-me style. The reflections and diary entries refer back to the movie often as if the reader knew Reese through it all and knows what she's talking about.
Watch the movie first!
The book seems to me to be designed to lead young women to recognize they are of value and are always redeemable, no matter what they might have already done.
A powerful and important message for all women and girls, in this mother's opinion.
In addition to the movie and the companion book, there is also a downloadable study guide available (It was free when I checked it out at the time this review posted!) to promote deeper discussion of the movie's themes.
To read what others have to say about Trust Fund and/or Love Was Near click here or on the banner below!