‘God Bless the Broken Road’

Based on the Rascal Flatts song, this movie (⋆½ out of four stars; rated PG for thematic elements and some combat action) combines NASCAR and the war in Afghanistan to craft a story connected to the song by the thinnest of threads. Lindsay Pulsipher stars as Amber, a widow with a young daughter, who loses her faith when her husband is killed in Afghanistan. Two years after his death, she’s struggling to make ends meet while waiting tables at the local diner. Amber’s lost her connection with the church, and with God. But she catches the eye of a handsome stranger, Cody (Andrew W. Walker), a bad-boy NASCAR driver doing some small-town community service. It is unclear what anything in the movie has to do with Rascal Flatts or the song, except that Amber sings it at the end in her triumphant return to church. What “God Bless the Broken Road” does have going for it is a better-than-expected performance by Pulsipher, who plays the winsome but broken woman with a deep sense of sensitivity. At the center, she holds together this hodgepodge of random story elements that otherwise don’t make much sense together at all.

KATIE WALSH, Tribune News Service