REVIEW: ‘A Week Away’

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A Week AwayA Week Away, one of Netflix’s newest original film directed by Roman White, premiered on March 26. The film follows Will (Kevin Quinn), a troubled youth who is facing some time in juvie after committing a crime. He is rescued by Kristin (Sherri Shepherd) and her son, George (Jahbril Cook), when they invite him to a Christian summer camp. There, Will meets Avery (Bailee Madison), Presley (Kat Conner Sterling), Sean (Iain Tucker), and the rest of the campers. It’s at camp where Will must take a leap of faith and face his struggles to find a place that he calls home. 

One of the many surprising elements of A Week Away was its premise. Most of that surprise comes from not having done any research on the premise before the film’s release, but it was still a nice surprise. It combined several Christian beliefs while adding the similar notes from films like High School Musical. There were some moments where the plot felt extremely campy in terms of what needed to be said, but the faith-centric messages were prominent. Being grounded in faith, the messages never felt like they were preaching or telling its audience what to believe in. Rather, the film layed out its beliefs and plot for audiences to enjoy. I would’ve never watched A Week Away knowing the premise since it seems rather ridiculous that a film like this could work, but I am glad to have watched it. 

The music in A Week Away fits well with the film’s premise, as it mostly has to do with faith-related topics. For instance, “Good Enough” talks about the way God has made everyone the way they are but somehow people still tend to question who they are. At the basis, this would be the kind of music sung at mass, but the choreography and camp setting elevate this to be much more meaningful. It doesn’t preach but rather points out something that people should listen and take to heart. There are also songs that talk about self-discovery and the notion of wanting to find a place to call home. Every song hits parts of the premise rather than just being songs for specific scenes. 

One of the things that holds A Week Away back from reaching its full potential is the lack of a balanced tone. By this, I’m referring to the fact that Will had to choose either going to the summer camp or spending time in juvie. The film seems to ignore that and just goes straight to the rest of the plot. Making a choice like that without any real ramifications makes it seem as if that was just thrown together for the sake of keeping the story along. While at camp, Will’s past is hidden but he never deals with it to a point that would be believable. Even with the power that faith has, according to the film, the last of real struggle or dilemma with Will keeping his past hidden is lackluster. 

Ultimately, A Week Away is an enjoyable film that didn’t find a way to incorporate a balanced tone to make the premise stand out more. Combining elements from Christian beliefs with the campiness from films like High School Musical is what makes the premise unique. Its music supports the premise as well, with the lyrics connecting to the theme of Christianity and finding a place to call home. I wouldn’t be surprised if more films like this are made in the future.

A Week Away is available to stream now, exclusively on Netflix.

A Week Away
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, A Week Away is an enjoyable film that didn’t find a way to incorporate a balanced tone to make the premise stand out more. Combining elements from Christian beliefs with the campiness from films like High School Musical is what makes the premise unique. Its music supports the premise as well, with the lyrics connecting to the theme of Christianity and finding a place to call home. I wouldn’t be surprised if more films like this are made in the future.