A Week Away Parent Guide
Not even a predictable plot can dampen this movie's infectious happiness.
Parent Movie Review
Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) is in serious trouble. The orphaned teenager has churned through 22 foster homes and has just been arrested for stealing a police car. He’s heading for juvie until a last minute reprieve – a new foster parent (Kristin, played by Sherri Shepherd) offers to take him to Camp Aweegaway. Facing two unpalatable options, Will agrees to spend a week in the woods with Kristin’s son, George (Jahbril Cook). What he doesn’t know until he arrives, is that it’s a Christian camp…
Christian films often seem “plastic” – they follow formulaic narrative arcs and never manage to feel real. A Week Away doesn’t escape those problems but even the predictable storyline doesn’t reduce its cockeyed charm. The writing is cheesy but earnest and the enthusiastic young actors give their all to their roles – and it shows. There’s an infectious joy to this movie that reaches through the screen, managing to touch even this cynical movie critic. If my shriveled heart can feel it, most other viewers will as well.
That’s not to say the show doesn’t have problems, notably the “weird” vibe that plagues musicals. Having people burst into song and dance numbers over the course of the day just feels strange and it takes a brilliant director to fully integrate the music into the movie. That doesn’t happen here. The songs are also uninspiring but I should point out that I don’t like Christian pop. Fans of the genre might disagree with me.
Compared to the film’s minor problems, there are lots of good points here. First, the movie is squeaky clean. You could watch it with your grandmother, your pastor/priest/clergy, or anyone who’s hard to please in terms of content. Second, the film’s Christianity is more lived than lectured. Will’s life changes, not because Christian kids bludgeon him with Bible verses, but because they live Jesus’s teachings to love and accept others. Third, the movie reminds us of the power of connection. Will changes because he feels a sense of connection to a group of people who invited him into their community. It’s an invitation to us (and especially our teens) to look around, see who needs to belong, and make space for them. And, fourth, the story gives everyone a chance to change. Not just Will; even the self-serving hypocrite who wields labels like a weapon gets a chance to reassess his behavior and become a better person.
There’s no doubt that A Week Away is a slam dunk for Christian viewers old enough to follow the plot. For anyone who ever attended a Christian camp, this will likely be a bit nostalgic. As for non-Christians, if your tweens and teens enjoy High School Musical and you’re interested in wholesome entertainment that provides a window into a different religious mindset, this could be what you’re looking for. It’s hard to object to 90 minutes of singing, dancing, and kindness.Directed by Roman White. Starring Bailee Madison, Kevin Quinn, David Koechner, . Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release March 26, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for A Week Away
A Week Away
Rating & Content Info
Why is A Week Away rated TV-PG? A Week Away is rated TV-PG by the MPAA
Violence: Mention of a teenager stealing a car. Teenagers get in a game of dodgeball. Teens get shot in a game of paintball.
Sexual Content: A teenage boy and girl kiss. Teenage girls are sometimes seen in mildly revealing clothing.
Profanity: None noted.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
A Week Away Parents' Guide
Why does Will lie about himself at the beginning of the movie? What is he trying to hide? Are there consequences for his dishonesty? Why does he have a hard time returning to camp? What holds him back? What helps him?
The teens sing about being “good enough”. Have you ever struggled with feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem? How have you challenged those internal assessments? How do your friends and family see you? Does that align with your own personal assessment?
Do you know anyone who seems lonely and adrift? What can you do to help them feel like they belong?
Related home video titles:
The best Christian movies aren’t actually part of the genre. Instead they tell powerful stories of real Christians who change the world by living their faith. Some of these include Amazing Grace, The Blind Side, Harriet, A Hidden Life, Hacksaw Ridge, and Shadowlands.