If the beauty of the main actors is a predictor of box-office success, “Because of Grácia” is going to be a huge hit.
Minnesota’s Chris Massoglia plays the main character, an insecure high school senior dedicated to not calling attention to himself who gets drawn out by an intriguing, confident new student played by Moriah Peters. They make the most gorgeous couple I can recall seeing in any recent movie love story. It’s a Christian movie, and this is a chaste friendship. She is saving her first kiss for marriage. Another high school couple supply the unchaste action.
If this movie hits big, expect lots of interviews with Peters talking about how her Christian values hurt her on “American Idol.” Peters told a Denver Post blog: “The celebrity panel said they liked my song and loved my voice but didn’t like my lifestyle,” and she needed to get kissed.
It is a coincidence that kissing is off the table for the character Peters plays in director Tom Simes’ movie. I interviewed Simes via e-mail a few days after he and Massoglia screened the movie and sought additional financial backers at Maplewood’s Redeeming Love Church. It’s scheduled for release in select theaters in September.
Q: You said the movie is testing extremely well among girls and women 12-25. Isn’t the reason for that how gorgeous Chris Massoglia and Moriah Peters are?
A: They are both easy on the eyes.
Q: There’s lots of Red, White & Blue in “Because of Grácia.” Are you trying to turn off the people from your native country, Canada?
A: Nope. I’ve always loved the colors and they look terrific in the film. BTW, I love red and white as well.
Q: Why do you love America so much?
A: Constitution, focus on freedom and lovely diverse people.
Q: Have you tried to get this movie screened at the White House, given what a huge fan you are of Donald Trump’s?
A: Nope, and I’m not a huge fan of his, but I like that he loves America.
Q: If you had the authority to banish only one of these themes from movies — sex or violence — which one would you choose and why?
A: Neither. It’s part of the human condition.
Q: You don’t have to be super religious to have a problem with “Pretty Woman.” If you ever met Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, what would you tell them about that movie?
A: I’d tell them I loved their performances.
Q: Given that John Schneider has a part in “Because of Grácia,” do I correctly intuit that you didn’t have a problem with him starring in the trashy “The Haves and the Have Nots” on OWN?
Q: I thought your son Brett was a delightful movie sidekick. Will he have the latitude to be in any movie he likes — or will you insist he only take roles in Christian movies or your movies?
A: He’s his own man and he has to make his own choices.
Q: “Chariots of Fire” is one of your favorite movies because ...?
A: The movie fulfills all of my requirements for a great film: It has a great story, terrific performances, and the technical elements of the film are strong and it moved me.
Q: What is your biggest life worry?
A: My kids dying before me. My youngest brother died when I was 10 and I saw what it did to my mom and dad.
Q: Do you have a favorite commandment?
A: Nope. They are all hard to follow.
Q: I’m going to ask how often you attend church by first repeating this funny Amy Farrah Fowler line from “The Big Bang Theory”: “I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”
A: I try to go every week.
Q: Do you think God, who gets lots of glory at the end of matches, cares who wins athletic competitions?
A: Nope. I think he cares about the character shaped in us through competition.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.