A Week Away (2021) Review

Certificate: PG

Director: Roman White

Screenwriter: Alan PowelL, Kali Bailey

Starring: Kevin Quinn, Bailee Madison, Jahbril Cook

Genre: Family, Musical

Runtime: 94 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Nowhere left to go, Will Hawkins finds himself at camp for the first time. His instinct is to run, but he finds a friend, a father figure and even a girl who awakens his heart. Most of all, he finally finds a home. – From IMDB

Predictable right from the very start, we have all seen enough teen movies to know how the bad-boy-meets-good-girl story goes.  And this does not stray even an inch from that formula.  Cookie cutter characters, with stereotypical personalities and the usual obstacles.  Nothing at all in the plot, or characters will be a surprise to anyone.

The acting ranges from pretty competent, to a little wooden.  Nothing terrible or laughable, and nothing that cold be a career breaker, but just the kind of performance that you would expect from a film that feels like it was made for TV, and this one certainly does.  From it’s cheesy dialogue, perfect hairstyles, overly cheery atmosphere and perfectly choreographed dance numbers, this whole film plays out like a Disney Channel Movie.  And in essence there is nothing wrong with that, but those films have a certain set of tropes and are expected to play out in a certain way, and if that is what you are looking for, if that is your jam, then you are going to have a blast with this.  Otherwise it is a little too twee to be believable.

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There are some important messages about friendship, love and faith to be found here, but it is mostly buried under a lot of singing and dancing and cheesy dialogue.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really well acted moments, and some real emotional moments.  There are some real impactful scenes in this film, and when the film isn’t too cheesy or to peppy for it’s own good, those scenes really do shine through. The scene with Will and Avery in the garden was a great example. Until they ruined the heartfelt moment and great acting with yet more singing. I am a huge fan of musicals, but give the writing a chance to tell the story before adding in yet another song and dance number. A film with this many musical numbers is bound to suffer narratively as there simply isn’t enough actual dialogue and serious acting to get it across effectively.

If You loved that ‘High School Musical’ era of Disney Channel originals, then this is going to right up your alley. Otherwise it’s feel-good message and religious heavy theme may be a little off putting to some viewers.

‘A Week Away’ is streaming on Netflix Now.

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