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Growing up in Greenville, Texas, Bart Millard suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father, Arthur. When Arthur becomes terminally ill, he finds redemption by embracing his faith and rediscovering his love for his son. Years later, Bart's troubled childhood and mended relationship with his dad inspires him to write the hit song 'I Can Only Imagine' as singer of the Christian band MercyMe.
This is an interesting idea, executed with a reductive, tin-eared understanding of what constitutes art to go along with a faith-based movie's reductive, tin-eared understanding of what constitutes entertainment.
Why is the movie made from a universally healing single such an earnest, awkward dud? Well, partly because the movie can't settle on what's more important, the family stuff or the ascension of the song as a fame-inducing anthem.
It shattered expectations with $17.1 million opening weekend nation wide, is Roadside Attractions highest theatrical debut with #1 Per-Screen Average (More than $3K above Black Panther, has a lot going for it.