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Camp and dance

Christian-camp musical A Week Away rivals Disney and Nickelodeon hits


Netflix

Camp and dance
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Cooler-than-thou types may sneer at A Week Away, a jukebox musical about a troubled teenager who finds community and comfort at a Christian summer camp. Clearly, the PG film, debuting on Netflix on March 27, owes something of its existence to the success of Disney’s High School Musical franchise. However, this is one time the faith-based facsimile outdoes the secular original.

Kevin Quinn (Bunk’d) and Bailee Madison (Bridge to Terabithia), playing a guitar-playing delinquent and his good-girl love interest, offer moderately better singing and much better acting than Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in their Mouse House heyday. Even adults will chuckle at David Koechner (Anchorman, The Office) and Sherri Shepherd (30 Rock) in the roles of camp directors.

In the songs category, it’s hard to argue A Week Away doesn’t rival the Disney and Nickelodeon competition. Hits from Steven Curtis Chapman, For King and Country, Amy Grant, and Michael W. Smith coexist alongside new tunes from Fixer Upper’s favorite house band, Johnnyswim.

This production feels a little too brief, though. Just when we start to get a handle on the central conflict of the story—whether our main character will let the churchgoing teens get to know the real him—the problem is resolved with a kiss and kickin’ talent show performance. With a bit more time and development, the movie could have offered its tween and young-teen audience something deeper.

But light as it may be, A Week Away is still a sweet confection.


Megan Basham

Megan is film and television editor for WORLD and co-host for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide to Having It All. Megan resides with her husband, Brian Basham, and their two daughters in Charlotte, N.C.

@megbasham

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SUZANNE SCHUELKE

This looks great! Both my girls were HSM and Camp Rock fans, so their dad and I are thrilled about a similar storyline that holds to a Christian worldview.