"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Movie Review: A Week Away (2021)

 Hello, friends!

You must all think that I’m addicted to Netflix with how much I have been talking about movies and shows from it. I’m not, there is just a good reason for that! You will see later as you read on. Today I’m bringing you one of its original movies and talking about why it impacted me. It’s also the first movie that I’m reviewing that came out this year!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

A Week Away (2021):
‘“This is weird.”
“It’s gonna be great!”’
While to Will Hawkins summer camp doesn’t sound like the blast they say it is it’s the last chance before he’s sent to juvenile hall. Having been in seven schools and twenty-two foster homes in the last six years, he doesn’t have much of a choice. But something happens that he didn’t expect: Aweegaway is a church camp. He decides to try to make this work by pretending to be someone completely different, someone who doesn’t have a record of stealing cars. His friend George knows everything about him and is able to be trusted. He decides to help George get over his shyness and talk to the girl he likes, Presley, while Will plans to get to know Presley’s friend Avery more. Everything seems to be great, but can this tangle of lies hold forever?
“Wait! You didn’t tell me this was church camp!”
: Musical, Romance, Drama.
Length: approx. 95 minutes.
Script: 10. No bad words that I detected!
“Wow. I feel like I should be offended but I’m actually just really impressed with your geographical skills. Like, did you just know that?”
Crew: Directed by: Roman White. Written by: Alan Powell, Kali Bailey, & Gabriel Vasquez.
Kevin Quinn as Will.
Bailee Madison as Avery.
Jahbril Cook as George.
Kat Conner Sterling as Presley.
Sherri Shepherd as Kristin.
David Koechner as David.
Iain Tucker as Sean.
‘“Wow. Is he for real?”
“Oh, he is very, very, real.”’
Adam Lower as Charlie.
Josh Rasile as Police Officer.
Amy Grant as Camp Counselor.
Steven Curtis Chapman as Lifeguard.
Costumes: 8. I see no problems with the outfits. It’s typical for what you see in the summer at a camp!
Cinematography: 8. It isn’t something wild and out there, but it fits and makes it seem realistic. The choreography is sometimes a little dramatic but very fun to watch! It’s a musical and what we all love to see, right?
Cinematography by:
James King.
Music: 9. I’m not screaming from the rooftops that this is my new favorite musical ever, but the music is fun! I like the blend of new songs with well known and loved ones. There is one scene that I can’t watch without crying because it mixes two songs and is so powerful. I wasn’t expecting it, but it uses one of my favorite songs and I was so happy because of it. I also really love “Good Enough” and “Place in This World”, which I’ll talk about more in a minute. Bailee Madison has a voice that seems like it would be absolutely perfect for country music, and I want to hear it, which is weird coming from me, someone who is known for disliking country music. It’s just so gentle and pretty! I like how "Best Thing Ever" wraps up all of the songs.
Music by:
New music written by Benjamin Backus, Cory Clark, Alan Powell, & Adam Watts. Featuring previously known songs written by Barry Blair, Steven Curtis Chapman, Andy Dodd, Amy Grant, Bob Herdman, Josh Kerr, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Will McGinniss, Geoff Moore, Richard Mullins, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, Michael W. Smith, Mark Stuart, Brian Keith Thomas, & Tedd Tjornholm.
Notes: I love how loaded this is to movie references! George has a ton of posters that he has “defaced” with his name. In addition to that the Braveheart and Twilight comments made me laugh. Oh and “John Hughes me”. To me the best were the STAR WARS and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1989) connections!
: 8. I’ve only seen it twice, but the lines stuck around the second time for sure. There are a few times the lines are a little stiff, but for the most part it is natural! Not the most original but I can definitely picture people in real life saying it. How uncomfortable George is with telling lies is realistic and awkward, therefore hilarioius. It’s great!
“We’re a team! But, yes, as the leader I do appreciate the validation.”
Oscars won: N/A.
Content: 10. No content to report! It is a romance so there is a kiss but nothing wrong with that! There is nothing that I can think of that would go against any standards.
“Okay, we’re gonna have to work on this whole stalker vibe you’ve got going right now.”
Originality: 9. It’s very cute! I’ve seen a few films that are centered around summer camps, and while they have some things in common this definitely stands out from all of those. It is cute, refreshing, fun, and nostalgic all at the same time!
Good For:
Anyone who has been to a summer camp, anyone who doesn’t know where they belong, anyone who is struggling with faith.
Age Range: The main characters are all teenagers (and in the opening credits we see a student ID that says that Will is a freshman which is a stretch I think, but maybe that’s just because I know for sure that the actor is much older than that. Maybe more around the age of juniors) so that is relatable for people that age! At the same time it has music from the 90s so that could bring back memories for older viewers. Don’t discount younger viewers, too!
Overall Score: 8.5.
Worth watching?:
Based on how much I cried (I know, I’m surprised, too!), yes! I am glad that I gave it a go!
Will I watch again?: I will go more into the reasons in a minute, but I really dig it, so yes! I also want to make my older sister watch it even though she is dubious. Very dubious.

For the blogathon:
Stay with me as I explain, but this is my entry in Megan @ The Pen and the Cross and Sam @ Bookshire’s Catholic Blog Week!

I have been a Catholic my whole life (well...I guess there were those few months before I was Baptized, but other than that!) so I always enjoy getting a chance to talk about something related to that!

You must be wondering what is the reason that this, of all things, is my entry. It is all because it is set at a Christian summer camp and the church camp that I have gone to many years is my favorite place in the world. I want a chance to reminisce! While this movie isn’t specifically Catholic it doesn’t mention any specific denomination so I’m going to talk about what it meant to me as a Catholic.

Make sense? Awesome.

I could find some quibbles with this movie. Like how Will’s motivation wasn’t the strongest, and how it was weird that it was a romance set up because that’s just not what happens, or how Sean’s character was understandable but a little extreme...

But I’m not going to focus on that. I’m going to talk about the strange reasons why I like it so much.

My sister and I had seen this come on Netflix and decided to watch it, but I literally had no idea what it was about. Needless to say I was more surprised than I’ve ever been watching a movie with what the whole basis for it was. If you watch Will’s face the whole time through the song “The Great Adventure”, that was me exactly.

What hits so deeply with this movie is the nostalgia. It reminds me so much of the camp that I have gone to! My sister was sad watching it because it reminded her how were weren’t able to go last year, but in hindsight she liked it. Intense dodgeball competitions, face paint, talent shows, chants for your team are all things we did a lot. In the midst of that fun are beautiful moments like the one around the campfire.

“It’s just been so long since I’ve felt so...connected. Like I was part of something bigger.”

It has been so long since I felt that and this movie brought it back to me. For me as a Catholic my favorite parts of the camp that I’ve gone to is Mass. It is such a vital part of our tradition and one that is gorgeous. It is the only time I’ve experienced daily Mass and I would totally do it if I lived in a place where that was offered.

I could type out all of the song lyrics, but I’ll just show a few that hit me deeply this time around. One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Will was saying that Avery was perfect and she was fighting against that because she felt inside that it wasn’t true. That dialogue and scene was so real and raw, perfectly accompanied by the song “Place in This World”.

“Not a lot to lean on
I need Your light to help me find
My place in this world
My place in this world”

The first time I watched it I thought that “Good Enough” was a little cringy, but that is far from my feelings now. I love it! It is a constant question in my mind if I am good enough for everything in my life, and this song is really comforting and encouraging.

What they say about you only being “a week away” from an experience that changes your life is so true! Every time I’ve gone to camp it has without a doubt transformed my life. A funny occurrence with both times I’ve watched this movie is that I have stayed up really late then gotten up really early, but without a problem (well, that’s catching up with me now). While it isn’t everything, it shows how spiritual media can refresh your mind and heart in addition to other things. I’m always intrigued by faith stories and this one didn’t let me down.

While this isn’t my favorite movie ever, and probably isn’t even in the top 200, it meant a lot to me and I’m blessed to have seen it. Being Catholic is definitely my place in this world.

It is the last day of Catholic Blog Week, so even thought this post is already really long, I’m going to quickly answer the tag that Sam created!

Tag questions:
Exposition or Benediction?


I feel bad about this, but I have no idea what this means. From Sam’s answer, I’m guessing Benediction is what I usually experience, so I’m going with that.

Catholic books or Catholic media?

This tag is making me realize that I should look into these kind of things deeper. I don’t think that I’ve read that many Catholic books? I know that the office in my church is filled with books and I’ve always wanted to read all of them. When I was little I’d just stare at them and even when I was teaching classes I would peruse the shelves while the kids were filling out worksheets.

I’ll say Catholic media just because I have watched more videos and listened to more music than read books. But, don’t count me out that it could happen in the future! Any recommendations?

Dominicans, Benedictines, or Franciscans?

What about them? Which is my favorite? Which am I the most used to? Which would I join? There are so many ways to answer this question, ack!

Because St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi were fantastic I’ll go with the Franciscans with whatever way this was supposed to be answered.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John?

Easiest question here. Actually, this is one of my favorite questions to ask people! You get such a fun range of answers. Except Mark. Mark is nice but others are better. Anyway, while I was studying for my Confirmation I got hooked on one and he has been my favorite ever since.

Can I get a round of applause for....Luke! The bible that I have points out how Luke was a Genteel so his gospel highlights stories of how Our Lord came for ALL OF US, not just the Jewish people. I really, really love it. Especially because he focuses the most of all the gospel writers on one of my favorites saints (in fact, some say the first saint...), St. Dismas!

Confession or Anointing?

Confession is the greatest gift, so that of course!

Morning or Evening Prayer?

To me morning prayer is more structured and evening prayer is more personal. I’m so used to doing evening prayer so I always love when I do morning prayer. It improves my whole day so much!

Pope St. John Paul II, or Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI?

Guys, I hate to admit it but I don’t know a lot about popes. So often people tell me who their favorite pope is and I always have to say Pope Francis because he’s the only one I can remember off the top of my head. I know I had heard of both, so I decided to skim through their Wikipedia pages to refresh my memory. I nearly cried reading St. John Paul II’s because it was so sweet so I chose him.

Holy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter Vigil?

Good Friday is so solemn, but I love it. I remember when I was younger every year in my parish the kids would ask the priest (and it was usually a different person each year) why on earth it was called “Good” Friday when it was the worst day ever. One year it finally clicked and it has been my favorite of those three days since.

Christmas or Easter?

HARDEST. QUESTION. EVER. I love the pure joy and community about Christmas while I love the quiet ecstasy of Easter. You can’t make me chose. Please tell me in the comments all your favorite things about both holidays!

Lent or Advent?

Both are excellent when done with purpose which hasn’t happened for me the last few years. Lent is so somber but meaningful where Advent is so often just a frenzy. I pick Lent!

Hot Cross Buns or Lamb Cake?

Wait, is Lamb Cake a thing outside of my parish? I’ve never seen it anywhere else! I’ve
tried hot cross buns and while they weren’t terrible I could take them or leave them. Lamb Cake!

Daily Mass or Daily Adoration?

Speaking of camps, I’ve only been able to have daily Mass during the camp that I have gone to! It is absolutely incredible. I’ve never tried daily Adoration, but it sounds wonderful, too.

Baptism or Confirmation? (To witness)

I’ve only witnessed two Confirmation ceremonies, whereas I’ve seen more Baptisms than I can count, so it isn’t really fair. I would love to see more Confirmations! But, I also love the happiness that accompanies witnessing (and helping out at) a Baptism! I’m giving a lot of null answers, sorry!

Tolkien or Chesterton?

Seeing how I’ve still never read any Chesterton the default answer is Tolkien. Sorry!

Well, this is a wrap for me! A huge thanks to Megan and Sam for hosting this! Make sure you check out all of the other entries HERE and HERE.

My blogging schedule got a little messed up so this is my last post for the month, but I’ve got a lot planned for next month including somethings involving karaoke...

Talk to me! Has anyone else seen this movie? What is a movie that you’re surprised that you like so much? What do you think of my tag answers? Is anyone else’s favorite gospel writer Luke? Thanks for reading!




  1. This is such a great post, MC! Your Church camp sounds so beautiful, and it's so great you got to experience daily Mass there! It makes me realize how lucky I am that my parish offers Mass every day.

    Oh oh oh I have a movie recommendation! It's kind of a weird one, since I don't clearly remember watching it myself/need to revisit it now that I'm old enough to appreciate it...but there's a 2005 movie (or, actually, IMDb is informing me it's a TV miniseries) called Pope John Paul II that has Cary Elwes in it! I have a feeling you would really like it, especially since the JPII's story touched you so much!

    Luke is amazing!!! *joins in the round of applause with full fervor* I picked John for my official answer, but Luke is a close second for me. :)

    I CAN'T PICK BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND EASTER. I just can't. I think technically I've picked Easter several times but THAT'S JUST NOT A FAIR QUESTION. We need both and I'm so glad God gave us both. :D

    1. Aww, thank you so much, Miss Megan! Thank you for hosting and giving me the chance to type my fingers off. XD My Church camp is my favorite place ever, so I'm very grateful to have been able to go there!

      Oh! I'm always open for movie recommendations (or recommendations of any kind!)! Bring it on! A miniseries based on JPII sounds like just what I need right now. And Cary Elwes? A double win! I will definitely look it up and try to watch it as soon as I get the opportunity!

      Luke! *cheers again* He's fully awesome! John is really neat, too, because he has such a different perspective from everyone else, you know? Excellent choice, m'dear!

      ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK. We have both for a reason! Can you separate the Holy Trinity? Nope, you can't. That's why you can't separate Christmas and Easter! Both are so essential and beautiful and holy. :D

  2. Okay, that movie sounds like it's kind of cheesy... And I'd also totally watch it. I love connecting Catholic stuff to technically not Catholic stuff. Very good review!

    1. It is incredibly cheesy, indeed. I was snorting at the ridiculousness in several places and crying in others. Making Catholic connections to things is the best! Thank you so much!

  3. That sounds like a super fun movie! Maybe I should've thought twice before letting my parents cancel our Netflix subscription. XD

    And the camp you've been to sounds SO amazing! Especially getting to go to Daily Mass...I love Daily Mass so much!

    Hmm...there may be a few questions that I could have clarified here. XD

    (Y'know, actually, Mark is our pastors' favorite gospel! So it's not quite true that no one ever answers Mark. :))

    St. JPII is SO AWESOME! You should definitely learn more about him! One of my favorite books about him (although it's LONG, so be warned) is called "Witness to Hope". I actually read it right before going to Poland, and so I still had it on my kindle when we were there, and the Polish pronunciation guide came in very handy. XD

    The question of "Why is "Good" Friday called that?" comes up in our house every year, too.

    Yes, Lamb Cake is a thing outside of your parish! There are a couple of ladies at our parish who make them every year, specifically for those who have just entered the Church!

    (Admission to make: I've never done daily Adoration, either. XD Weekly at most.)

    MC. You must read some Chesterton. Immediately. Start with either The Ball and the Cross or Orthodoxy, depending on whether you feel like fiction or nonfiction. :)

    1. It surely was a lot of fun for me! You'll just have to find someone who has a subscription and convince them to let you watch their pets overnight, which is what I did before my family got a subscription. XD

      You've heard me talk about it more and more...but I'll always have more to say because it is the most amazing place! Daily Mass is so special!

      It's not you, it's me. I need things explained really carefully, which is how I get people annoyed with me all the time. XD

      (What?? Really?? What I've been saying for years about Mark is wrong? Man, I need to get around more. XD That's awesome that it's his favorite gospel! I'm sure he has brilliant things to say about it!)

      I just looked up Witness to Hope and it looks great! I will definitely read it when I get the chance. :) Length doesn't bother me when it's about awesome people. ;) Sounds like it was really helpful to you!

      It has several meanings, doesn't it? It's something to ponder and you can always make more connections!

      Wow, I had no idea! One year the lady who made the lamb cakes was making a lot because one for each First Communicant (it was when I received!) and she had baked them all, took them out of the oven, then left the room. When she came back all the heads had fallen off! XD

      (Weekly is still awesome! :D)

      Oh dear, I'm being called out. *sheepish grin* I see that you're reading Orthodoxy right now so maybe you will convince me even further! :)

  4. This looks like a fun movie. I'll have to watch it sometime.

    1. I think you would really like all of the music, McKayla!

  5. I love those movies that aren't necessarily Christian but something about it hits you like that.

    1. Yes! It shows that faith stretches into all parts of life, and I love that!

  6. I think I saw the trailer for this. I thought it looked good.

    1. If you watch it you'll have to tell me what you think!


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