Love Covers All follows a fairly straightforward story line, and keeps the plot simple so that the dialogue can dig a little deeper. Michael (Jared Young) and his wife Sarah (Jen Mercurio) are expecting their first child. When Michael’s father refuses to come to the birth because his life is “complicated,” Michael promises to be a better father than his own, and to be there for Sarah no matter what. Unfortunately, “no matter what” comes in the form of a work review in another city, being laid off, and having car trouble when Sarah unexpectedly goes into labor. Michael has one mission: to get home in time to see the baby born.
At first, I expected this film to follow a format like the Hollywood film Due Date, with the lead character encountering a series of odd delays and pitfalls on his way home. But that was a comedy, and this is drama. Instead, it operates more like The Encounter: Paradise Lost 2, with the primary action sequences end-capping a hearty conversation in the middle (with a few minor plot trails to keep it moving).
The dialogue between Michael and gas station owner, Bob (Rusty Whitener), is honest and does not engage in simple platitudes. Rather, the two discuss everything from their beliefs to their current choices to their imperfect pasts. These discussions are not easily won, however. They emerge from an initially tense meeting that is clouded by Michael’s high stress and Bob’s lack of information about Michael’s trial. Once Bob realizes the dilemma, his demeanor changes. However, the two continue taking shots at each other, swapping insults, challenges, random acts of kindness and occasional shows of compassion as Bob challenges Michael’s wavering faith. Why bother believing in God if you don’t open your Bible or even pray when trials come? The story is a classic case of iron sharpening iron.
Love Covers All does a good job of exploring its premise on a shoestring budget. Jared Young gives a solid performance as a brooding, bitter son who must decide what to do when his dad enters the picture again. Rusty Whitener plays a fantastic three-dimensional character who is equally discouraged, curious, and hopeful in understanding what it means to live by faith. And the story itself makes a great case for forgiveness and change.
Love Covers All releases October 7. Get it on DVD and Digital On Demand.