6.9/10
5,393
59 user 21 critic

To Save a Life (2009)

Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
After a childhood friend's death, Jake Taylor, an all-star athlete must change his life - and sacrifice his dreams to save the lives of others.

Director:

Brian Baugh
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Randy Wayne ... Jake Taylor
Deja Kreutzberg ... Amy Briggs
Joshua Weigel Joshua Weigel ... Chris Vaughn
Steven Crowder ... Doug Moore
D. David Morin ... Mark Rivers
Sean Michael Afable ... Jonny Garcia
Bubba Lewis ... Danny Rivers
Robert Bailey Jr. ... Roger Dawson
Kimberly Daugherty ... Andrea Stevens (as Kim Hidalgo)
Arjay Smith ... Matt McQueen
Orin Mozon Orin Mozon ... Billy
Lamont Thompson ... Clyde Williams
Trinity Scott Brown ... Kelsi (as Trinity Scott)
Janora McDuffie ... Cari Vaughn
Laura Black ... Pam Taylor
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Storyline

Jake Taylor has everything. He has a beautiful girl, he's the champion in basketball and beer pong, and everyone loves him. Then, an old childhood friend, with whom Jake used to be friends, commits suicide. Jake begins to think. He wonders what he could've done to save his friend's life. A youth minister tells him that Jake needs God. So Jake becomes a Christian. However, things begin to spin out of control. His dad is cheating on his mom, his girlfriend is pregnant, and his former friends ridicule and mock him. During all this, Jake is going to realize just what it means to be a Christian and how to save a life. Written by J. Montgomery

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people are just dying to be heard.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving teen suicide, teen drinking, some drug content, disturbing images and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Root beer and cream soda was used for the alcohol drinking scenes. See more »

Goofs

When Jake is uploading scanned photos to the Internet, his computer is clearly uploading them from "C:\Users\Rachel". No characters in the film are named Rachel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chris Vaughn: Today we come together to remember the life of Roger Andrew Dawson. Although we know he had so much life left in him, we thank God for the 17 years he did have.
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Alternate Versions

A "church-friendly" version was provided for public screenings. See more »

Soundtracks

Bounce
Written and Performed by J-Rus
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User Reviews

 
Good intentions, but falls very flat
31 January 2010 | by CeilingofStarsSee all my reviews

First, I want to say that the movie I saw was almost nothing like its preview. I walked into the theater expecting a relatively dense, deep portrayal of guilt and doubt. This movie had very, very strong Christian overtones, to the point where my friends and I were laughing out loud - not because it was funny, or even because the scenes were cheesy, but that one thing after another kept adding up, and it was SO unbelievable and over-the-top.

The casting director for this movie needs to find another job. The two main characters were easily in their late 20's. The girlfriend is supposed to be super popular and desirable, but she is hunched-over and wrinkled. No high schooler looks like that. The "troubled kids" actually looked like real teenagers, and the styling in that sense was pretty realistic, but it only served to contrast even more with how old the other cast members were. There was an extra at the kegger that was easily in his early 40's. It was ridiculous.

But all of these things aside, my biggest complaint is that this movie had a real opportunity to explore some deep issues related to life, faith, and guilt. The main character had no soul. He was going through the motions of being hurt, angry, and confused, but I didn't believe it for a second. The only believable scenes were those that involved his parents. I don't completely blame the actor for this. I think it was largely the fault of the screenwriter. My hunch is that the screenwriter, who is a youth pastor, has had personal experience with parent trouble, how troubled teens act, etc. What he does NOT understand is how it actually feels to be a troubled teen (all of their diatribes were along the lines of, "Nobody understands me. I feel so alone." It never went much deeper than that.)

Even more, I am almost certain that this writer doesn't know what it feels like to experience heavy grief as a teenager, or to feel guilty or like he caused someone to do something horrible. He (and the actors) make a valiant attempt to imagine what it would feel/be like, but it falls so painfully short.

People who think this movie is an accurate representation of that kind of pain have most likely never lived it. I suspect the same could be said about the issue with the main character's girlfriend at the end of the movie, but I have never personally experienced that, so I can't say for sure.

In summary: If you are an average Christian churchgoer, particularly one that belongs to a slightly more modern church (say, one that uses electric guitars in the church band), than almost without a doubt I think you will really enjoy this movie. It speaks to your reality and might broaden a few minds. If you are a victim of childhood/adolescent trauma, a serious crisis of faith, or severe depression - all of which I have personal experience with - then I suspect you will find this movie falls disappointingly short.


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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 2010 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Save a Life See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,581,517, 24 January 2010

Gross USA:

$3,777,210

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,824,868
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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