On the surface, Netflix Original “A Week Away” is another feel-good romantic comedy. The plot revolves around typical bad boy Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) and good girl Avery (Bailee Madison) falling for each other despite their completely different backgrounds, beliefs, and hardly knowing each other. Things get tricky with the setting: a Christian camp.
First, main character Will (AKA Troy Bolton look-alike) pretends to fit into the Christian crowd to win over the camp owner’s daughter. The plot revolves around lies and secrecy, which can be thrilling or agitating depending on what you’re looking for.
Second, the true purpose of the move is unclear, but the Christian camp angle often comes across as stereotypical and derogatory. Lines such as “Watch your six, but not your 666!” and “Get up and help me kick some apostle behind,” and screaming “Jesus loves you” as a paintball war cry may seem a little too flippant for comfort. The movie goes on to merge romance with spirituality. The more Will falls for Avery, the more he sings about God and worships. At one point, he points to Avery as he sings, “This is what life is all about. I found myself right here.” It’s a sweet message for a regular rom-com, but its context may hit too close to home for some viewers.
Most other issues can be attributed to its lighthearted nature. “A Week Away” isn’t the only rom-com to have inconsistent character development, cheesy stories and glaring plot holes. Although one thing the movie has going for it is Madison’s convincing portrayal of a genuinely sweet character. Throughout the movie, her character remains consistent, and even during the conflict’s climax, she remains real and pleasant to watch.
The bottom line is the movie is a light-hearted watch, even if it would probably have been better to ditch the Christian camp idea. It might not be for everyone, but there’s a good chance if you’re looking for a fictional love story to stir up some heart sparkles, it’ll probably do the trick.