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Movie Review: ‘Sunrise in Heaven’
By Sarah Komisky
Most people who want to see a good chick-flick want two things: love and more love. But not just any love, the love that endures to the end. The “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” kind of love. Maybe that’s why “The Notebook” ranked number one in the Nicolas Sparks franchise, bringing in a total of $81,001,787! Look at a list of the best romances of all time, best chick-flick films, or best Valentine’s Day movies and it’s likely that “The Notebook” is on there. This is why the new film “Sunrise in Heaven” should be of interest! Like the Sparks romantic-drama film adaption of “The Notebook,” this film brings on all the love that endures but it does it through faith, making it a movie must-see.
What else makes it Netflix’s worthy? Well, one reason is that it parallels Nicholas Sparks’ book-turned-film in a few different ways, only this flick can leave you assured nothing scandalous will pop up on your screen. #embarrassing. That’s why this film is a great pick if you want to invite your little sister, teen daughter, or niece to get their chick-flick night on without seeing anything not PG.
The other is that it is inspired by a true story. While “The Notebook’s” basic story line about lost love that is rekindled, withstands the war, and time itself is indeed grand, it is also fictitious. “Sunrise in Heaven,” on the other hand, is a true story about the love story and marriage of Jan and Steve Hurst. Married 44 years to a solider, Hurst shares about her epic love that survived beyond her husband’s passing into eternity. Yep, true love at its’ core.
The film tells the story of a young girl (Caylee Cowan) who is perused by a young guy in the Air Force (Travis Burns – Neighbors). When they found themselves hindered by the young lady’s overprotective father (Corbin Bernsen – Major League, My Daddy is in Heaven) there are challenges for sure. So, if it’s a romance you’re looking for, you will find it here. And, if it’s drama you want, you’ll get that, too. Like “The Notebook,” this movie holds a few twists and turns that make it endearing and real. It does not hide from the hard issues in life, including family dynamics, illness, and circumstances that try to tear their love apart–just like “The Notebook.” And, like the Sparks’ adapted film, the majority of it also takes place in the yesteryears to give the same nostalgia, which is a nice bonus.
However, the biggest draw in the film is the faith angle where the major intent is to showcase a wife who was not willing to draw back her faith and give up, even if things don’t go she would wish. This is backdrop to a bigger story of the couple’s love and trust in God that makes their story epic.
Overall, viewers can glean from lessons learned in real romantic relationships, which include conflict resolution, family dynamics, suffering, and loss, from a perspective of faith. This is why “Sunrise in Heaven” should be on your radar if you’re looking for a night in. Like “The Notebook,” you will definitely need your box of tissues handy, but you won’t regret watching—even if you might be surprised, you’ll still be left with hope.
“Sunrise in Heaven” is written by Dan Benamor and produced by Dureyshevar, Nat Mundel, Jack Nasser, and Jacob Nasser & Joseph Nasser. It is now released on DVD, Digital, and On Demand.