Movie Review – I Can Only Imagine

Mondays at the matinee are becoming a treasured tradition for my best Adventure Buddy and me…..we don’t go every Monday, but when we find a movie we both want to see, Monday is our chosen day! And we LOVE Tinseltown in Gates – it has the best prices, a great location, and is clean and comfortable! What more can you ask for?

This Monday, we went to see “I Can Only Imagine“. We had been looking forward to seeing this movie – heard lots of friends had been and loved and recommended it! With our recent adventures, this is the first chance we’ve had to go, so we did! All I can say is WOW! What an inspirational story!

I Can Only Imagine is based on the true story of Bart Millard – lead singer of the Christian musical group, Mercy Me. Bart is played brilliantly by J. Michael Finley, who made his screen acting debut in this film – his previous acting credits were on the Broadway stage. Finley did an amazing job of portraying Bart – a young man who left an abusive home life to follow his dream of becoming a singer and song writer. His childhood was tragic – an abusive father who was, in Bart’s words, a monster, a mother who escaped the abuse but left her young son behind, and a sports injury that ended a promising future in football. With all that against him, you’d think young Bart would have chosen a different path for his life. But, he had some amazing positive influences in his life that helped put him on the right path – his grandmother, played by the amazing Cloris Leachman, who supported him and loved him; his Glee Club teacher, played by Priscilla Shirer who took a struggling teen and helped him find his voice; his childhood sweetheart, played by Madeline Carroll, who was his anchor as a child and shared his spirituality; and, finally, the manager of his musical group, played by country music star Trace Adkins, who convinced the group they could be great if they focused on music that came from their heart, instead of the rock and roll they were playing at gigs. All these people believed in him, prayed for him, and gave him roots and a solid foundation to build his life on. And, of course, there was God — despite all the torment and disappointment in his life, Bart still went to church and kept touch with his spirituality. It was through God and His influence on Bart and his father that the popular Christian song, I Can Only Imagine, was born. Bart wrote the song from his heart and with the help of his manager and Amy Grant, his group Mercy Me recorded the song and the rest is history!

I deliberately didn’t mention that Bart’s father – Arthur Millard – was portrayed by Dennis Quaid because I wanted to talk about him separately. I adore Dennis Quaid — such a sweetheart – that smile – those dimples……I was really worried about seeing him in a role as an abusive father! But, he did an incredible job. And, in a final scene, I saw the face of the Dennis Quaid I love, so it was all good!!! 😀

I was also very impressed with Trace Adkins’ performance of Brickell – the manager – I have loved his music for years and his deep voice will melt me instantly whenever i hear it, but seeing him in an acting role was a real treat.

To be honest, I had never heard the song before – or if I had, I don’t remember it. I listened to it on YouTube prior to going to the movie at Cathy’s urging, but I didn’t really listen to it. Now that I’ve seen Bart’s story and heard the song in the context of his life and what the words meant to him, I am sad that I didn’t pay attention to it over the years since it was released. It is an amazing song…..and an amazing story!

I rate this one a solid A+ and highly recommend it! Take extra napkins or tissues in with you…’re going to need them!!! It is a truly amazing movie and I am so glad I went to see it!

Lunch, on the other hand, was a bit of a let down. We always go for lunch after the movies – this time we chose the Irish Pub in Spencerport and I had my very first Spiedie – I’ve heard of them, of course, but never had one before. Neither of us were terribly hungry, so we split the sandwich and sweet potato wedges – good thing we did cause I would not have wanted a whole one. The sweet potato wedges were very good – they were seasoned nicely – I wish I was hungrier so I could have eaten more. The sandwich was not bad – don’t get me wrong — I am DEFINITELY NOT knocking the restaurant OR the sandwich…….I’ve just never really been a fan of vinegar based BBQ – I do, however, like to marinade my chicken in Italian dressing, so I was hopeful that I would enjoy the sandwich — like I said, it was good – just not going to be a “go to” sandwich for me…..I’m glad I tried one, but I probably won’t ever have another. So……nothing against the restaurant or the sandwich, if you like Spiedies – that wasn’t the reason for the let down – it is a cute little Irish Pub with Irish music playing – nice! I just, personally, wasn’t as impressed with the area’s famous Spiedie sandwich as I thought I would be – I’ll stick with the other WNY claim to fame – the ever popular Beef on Weck!!! But……I can now say I’ve had a Spiedie!!! There is that!!! 😀

Here is the song video and the movie trailer:

2 Comments on “Movie Review – I Can Only Imagine

  1. I have loved this song ever since I heard it. When I am feeling doubtful or down this song lifts me up. It is a great song with very special words. we have not been to a movie in years and both of us were excited to see this – also in Tinseltown =)

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