Movie Review: Confessions of a Prodigal Son

Disclosure: Family Christian provided me with a DVD copy of this film in order to facilitate a review. All opinions, as always, are my own.

So this is a little bit of a change from normal! Usually, when I find a book that I really love, and think will be helpful to other moms, I write a review of the book and share it here. Today, however, I’m sharing with you about a new movie, Confessions of a Prodigal Son, starring Kevin Sorbo and Nathan Clarkson.

Confessions of a Prodigal Son Review

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you know that I am a big, big fan of Sally Clarkson, who writes books and a blog dedicated to motherhood. One of her sons, Nathan, is an actor and screenwriter.

Just like his mom, Nathan has a strong desire to spread the message of the Gospel to the world, and so I’ve been anxious to see this movie for quite some time.

A family-friendly movie

Before we had kids, my husband and I watched a lot of movies. We were at the theaters practically every weekend, and watched a lot of new releases. Over time however, we’ve been relegated to watching a lot of kids’ movies, which is fine, because trying to find something that we both like has become harder and harder.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like a lot of films out lately are so full of bad language, sexual themes, and just downright bad behavior, that I don’t enjoy watching them. And I certainly can’t sit and watch them with my family.

Confessions of a Prodigal Son, however, is different. It tells the deeply moving story of Sean, a college-aged kid who moves out on his own after struggling with his parent’s rules and discipline. After a couple of years of partying, drinking, pill-popping and irresponsibility, he finally realizes, after being kicked out of school and losing his college fund, that maybe the free kind of life he has been leading isn’t really as good as he thought it would be.

The good and the bad

I loved this film for many reasons, chief among them that it didn’t have a cheesy story line that a lot of other faith-based films seem to have. Sean’s story was completely believable, and I was pleasantly surprised at Nathan’s acting ability…he was so real and likable that I found myself wanting Sean to succeed.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that about all the characters. Some of the acting was so bad that I was embarrassed watching them. But still, both my husband and I found ourselves so emotionally invested in the story towards the end of the movie that we became a little teary watching Sean come home to his father.

It would have been nice had the movie spent less time showing so much partying…at one point, I thought, “OK, we get it! He likes to party!” and focused a bit more at the end on seeing how Sean’s relationship evolved with his dad after his return home.

The unsung hero of this movie, however, is the soundtrack. The music, written by Joel Clarkson, Nathan’s brother, is very, very good, and I especially love the song Hallelujah, sung by Nathan and his wife/co-star Rachael. It’s going on my iPod very soon 🙂

A real story to inspire others

Although we didn’t watch the movie with our kids the first time (we weren’t sure how the party scenes would look), I am so pleased that Confessions of a Prodigal Son is a film that we can show to our children, to let them be inspired by how the prodigal son story might relate to them in today’s world.

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