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WELCOME TO PARADISE is the inspirational family story of a preacher who is sent from a big city church to Paradise, a small, rural community that is in desperate need of direction. The fact that the preacher is named Debbie only complicates things. She finds a town that is stuck in complacency as well as a town that turns its back on its neediest neighbors. Debbie begins building a new vision for her congregation and the veil of indifference starts to lift. When the Paradise Church is accidentally burned down, and it's charter is in danger of being revoked, the members rally around Debbie and in doing so, realize that a "church" is defined by it's community, not by the four walls that house a Sunday Service. Debbie's kindness and insight bring a blast of fresh air to this out of the way country town. It also brings her a second chance at love.Written by
It was great to see a movie that works through difficult life issues Raising a teenager as a single parent, getting fired from your job, going into a settled community and bucking the trends are things we all have to face. The scenes cut back and forth frequently to cover several of the characters and to weave the story line into a flow that was quick enough to get to the points across that were being made. Crystal Barnard did a terrific job and really got into the role effectively. Even though the story was not about Crystal and Shockely you can easily see where it could lead this way and that felt good to me. This was a nice touch.
The use of a female minister in this type of role was well done and should be well received. She is the "new breed" and breathes new life into a community that was in a rut---like so many of ours are today. Her message appealed and should be embraced by all levels of audience. The good in people comes from the grass roots and this movie was able to bring this out effectively.
I saw the movie twice and was not disappointed either time. Crystal faces several very challenging issues and through her positive outlook and faith she was able to connect with a community to bring them to a higher and better place. This was done without getting too corny---the director was very good about keeping the tone "modern" but kept the message on track. Good job all around.
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