Picture from The Other Side Of Heaven
Overall A-

When a nineteen-year-old from Idaho decides to serve three years as a missionary for his church, he never dreams he will end up in Tonga. The young man's faith is put to the test as he faces culture shock, language barriers, and missing his true love back home. Based on a true story, The Other Side Of Heaven portrays the miraculous growth that occurs in the lives of both the giver and the receiver when they put their trust in God.

Violence B
Sexual Content B
Profanity A-
Substance Use B

MPAA Rating: PG

The Other Side Of Heaven

"There is a connection between heaven and earth. Finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life." -- John Groberg

The Other Side Of Heaven (2001) - Official site John Groberg (Christopher Gorham), a precocious boy from Idaho, doesn't let obstacles stand in his way. Blowing trumpet for a dance band at university in the early 1950s, the nineteen-year-old jumps off the stage to claim the girl of his dreams -- even though she's sock-hopping with someone else. When asked by his church to serve a mission on the other side of the world, he tells Jean (Anne Hathaway) to wait for him -- for a mere three years.

The Other Side Of Heaven (2001) - Official site An arduous journey finally brings the highly anticipated "great white preacher" to a remote Tongan island. Groberg's tenacity and commitment are immediately put to the test as he adjusts to the primitive conditions, tries to master the language, and attempts to live up to the congregation's expectations. But his greatest challenge is convincing the people not to sacrifice their souls. As mere existence demands everything, many residents believe liquor or prostituting their virtue are the only ways to a brighter future. With the assistance of Feki (Joe Folau) -- a faithful local who helps him understand the culture -- the young missionary embarks on the daunting task that can only be accomplished by finding a meaningful connection between heaven and earth.

The Other Side Of Heaven (2001) - Official site Based on a true story, this inspirational tale was shot on location in the Cook Islands. Perhaps its only flaw is Gorham's somewhat flat character's unfailing ability to overcome endless obstacles and temptations, including redirecting the desires of a young woman who drops her clothes (no nudity shown) and begs for his passion. Parents may also be concerned that some depictions of intense storms, and suffering due to poverty, may be unsettling for young viewers.

Despite a tight budget, first time writer-director Mitch Davis and powerhouse producer Gerald Molen (Schindler's List, Jurassic Park) have created a film that never appears cash restricted. Families searching for examples of unwavering faith and determination will enjoy this cinematic achievement -- a rare find this side of heaven.

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