Plot: Amber (Lindsay Pulsipher) is a young woman trying to cope with life’s trials and tribulations, but after her husband was killed in Afghanistan, she struggles to process her emotions and find some closure. She raises her daughter and works at a diner, but finances are always a pressure and while she hasn’t told anyone, the bank is about to foreclose on her home. In tough times, she has always been able to take solace in her faith, but her belief is being tested of late and she feels hopeless, as if she has nowhere to turn. Meanwhile, race car driver Cody (Andrew W. Walker) is dealing with the fallout of his refusal to follow the orders of his crew, which has resulted in demolished cars and lost races. He is tasked to help some kids build go-karts as part of a church program, with hopes he will also learn some patience in the process. As it turns out, Amber’s daughter is part of the program and while she resists the idea at first, she and Cody strike up a friendship of sorts. As both try to find some answers and comfort, will they overcome their issues and find that comfort in each other?
Entertainment Value: As the title suggests, God Bless the Broke Road is a movie with a faith driven crowd in mind, so those who don’t appreciate religious content won’t likely have much fun here. In the real of Christian movies, this one falls in the middle of the road, but compared to mainstream cinema, it comes off as rather stilted and low end, thanks to a mediocre cast and melodramatic narrative. The story is fine, but it leans on emotional manipulation throughout and doesn’t really earn the attempts at heartfelt moments, as there’s little development or depth here. The issue of loss is likely enough to make the material resonate with some, but the writers don’t explore the subject much and the focus is on trusting faith above all else. This is of course going to hit home with the intended audience, but God Bless the Broken Road does little to appeal to a wider audience. I think faith based movies can have that kind of appeal, but you need well crafted stories, characters, and good production values, which aren’t elements this movie has in most cases. But for those interested in a drama with Christian values as the focus, this one might be worth a look.
The cast of God Bless the Broken Road is a mixed bag, as the leads are rather weak, while the supporting roles are much more effective. Andrew W. Walker and Lindsay Pulsipher have the main roles and while neither performance is abysmal, I don’t think either carries the movie well. Walker is kind of a generic presence that has little charisma, but turns in a harmless, watchable turn. This might be more of an issue in a more passion oriented romance picture, but in this kind of tame material, his bland persona isn’t as much of a hindrance. Lindsay Pulsipher is a better performer, but the material makes her rather unlikable and in a movie where we are supposed to root for the couple, that is a concern. The romance angle fizzles thanks to a lack of chemistry between the two, but I’ve seen much worse. Kim Delaney and Gary Grubbs have the best performances, but neither has enough screen time to help save this one. The cast also includes Jordin Sparks, Robin Givens, and former NFL player LaDainian Tomlinson.