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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
This movie was very good, and people of all ages will enjoy it, I think. Very few filmmakers tackle such topics as homelessness and accepting people, regardless of gender, race, age, etc. But this one does, and it does it without being preachy or boring.
Crystal Bernard was great in this role. But the character (Bobby Edner from one of the Spy Kids movies) who plays Hayden was a real stand-out, too. I thought he added depth as her confused teenage son trying to cope with his father's death and his mother's profession as a pastor -- and all that comes with being a pastor's child when it's tough enough growing up in a "normal" family.
I don't think it is in theaters until the summer, but it's playing at the American Family Film Festival (www.iffilmfest.org) in LA in February. I saw it at a screening recently and highly recommend it!
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