Catalyst October Issue 2013
“Grace Unplugged” is a movie that follows an Evangelical Christian named Gracie Trey who dreams of becoming a rock star. Her father, Johnny Trey, was a one-hit wonder who gave up his rock star career for religion. Grace and her father bump heads over the songs that she is allowed to sing in church and, eventually, over the fact that she wants to move to Los Angeles for a potential record deal. His wild past demonstrates that the rock star lifestyle is not as glamorous as it may seem. Johnny Trey reminds his daughter that her God-given talent and faith are more important than being a rock star. This would be a great movie for young girls to watch because it contradicts everything that artists such as Miley Cyrus stand for. Young girls need more positive role models to look up to in the media; Gracie Trey could definitely be one of them.
One day after Grace and her father complete a performance at their church, Johnny’s former manager “Mossy” shows up to offer him an exciting opportunity. He asks Johnny if he would be interested in creating another album, but Johnny rejects the offer. Johnny emphasizes how the “rock star” lifestyle is not for him anymore. Not surprisingly, Grace is intrigued by the offer and wants to learn more. Without telling her parents, Grace moves to Los Angeles and records a cover version of the song that made her father a one-hit wonder. The more successful Grace becomes, the more her faith is tested.
After getting a taste of the rock star lifestyle, Grace realizes that in order to be successful, she will have to neglect her Christian values. Not only does the record company that Grace signed with tell her that she can no longer sing songs that pertain to religion, they also want her to sing a follow up song that completely contradicts Grace’s Evangelical faith. She begins to understand how the music industry promotes dishonesty and empty dreams. Fortunately, Grace does not sacrifice her morals for fame. Grace realizes that people in the music industry are dishonest and out for themselves. However, there is one person in particular, named Quentin, who is an intern for the record company that signed Grace and who is a devout Christian as well. He discourages Grace from abandoning her faith.
Eventually, Grace returns home because she realizes that the rock-star lifestyle does not coincide with her values. Getting a taste of the rock star lifestyle makes Grace realize that she would prefer to sing in church. Soon after Grace returns home, she gets engaged to Quentin and begins performing with her father again. Their former manager has signed them to sing Christian Evangelical rock together. This demonstrates that both Grace and her father were able to achieve their dreams without giving up their faith.
The theme of the movie is definitely faith and family. From the very start of the movie until the very end, Grace’s faith and family are there to guide her in the right direction. Her faith and family are the ones who steer her toward success and dreams. Grace learned from her father’s mistakes and did not repeat them. Her upbringing as an Evangelical Christian strongly influenced the choices that she made and eventually, led to her success. Grace had several opportunities to make mistakes and go down the wrong path in life, but chose not to. This is a direct result of Grace’s upbringing.