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Nothing Is Impossible

MOVIE | Faith-based sports story offers both inspirational athleticism and romance

Pure Flix

<em>Nothing Is Impossible</em>
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➤ Pure Flix

The Pure Flix streaming service has been increasing its output of original faith-based family-friendly content. Its latest movie, Nothing Is Impossible, is a sports story with a healthy dose of romance, and it’s sure to please fans of Hallmark-style movies. But like other films in the genre, life gets sugarcoated.

Scott Beck dreamed of playing professional basketball, but instead of donning a jersey with his name on the back, each morning Scott slips on a work shirt with his name on the pocket. Almost 20 years after being passed over in the NBA draft, he still struggles with his missed opportunity. Scott works as a janitor at the Christian high school he ­formerly attended, and he’s behind on rent. But at least he stays in good physical condition. His beat-up truck is unreliable, so he finds ­himself jogging most places.

Scott sees an opportunity to recapture his lost dream when the local professional basketball team—the fictitious Knoxville Silver Knights—announces it will hold open tryouts. The tryouts are a ­publicity stunt to drum up interest in the struggling team. The road to redemption won’t be easy. Scott is pushing 40 years old, and the team happens to be owned by his ex-­girlfriend Ryan Aikens, whom he left at the altar 20 years earlier. Scott still has skills on the court, but will it be enough to make the team? Will it be enough to give him a second chance with Ryan?

The idea of an NBA team holding open tryouts feels improbable at best, but we should expect a film called Nothing Is Impossible to require a certain suspension of ­disbelief. The setup isn’t quite as absurd as it sounds. The NBA’s minor-league teams regularly hold open tryouts, and this small-market Knoxville team feels a bit minor league-ish. But would the 39-year-old Scott really be able to keep up with youngsters on the court? Well, LeBron James turns 38 later this year, and he’s still driving to the basket.

The film features solid performances. David A.R. White plays Scott—you’ll recognize him as Reverend Dave from the God’s Not Dead franchise—and soap star Nadia Bjorlin plays the love interest. Veteran film and television actor Harry Lennix provides the film with gravitas as the Silver Knights’ basketball coach who wants nothing to do with these open tryouts. The production values—lighting, sound, set—don’t feel cheap. But college basketball fans will undoubtedly notice that the Silver Knights play on a court that looks suspiciously like the University of Tennessee’s Thompson–Boling Arena.

With Nothing Is Impossible, Pure Flix follows the tried-and-true ­formula the Hallmark Channel has used for decades. Hallmark movies can be a little cheesy, but they are popular for a reason. Nothing Is Impossible takes that Hallmark ­formula and baptizes it with some overt Christian references.

Nothing Is Impossible takes the Hallmark ­formula and baptizes it with some overt Christian references.

Scott and his friends pray and go to church. Characters grapple with God’s will for their lives. Scott ­questions what the Bible means when it talks about living an abundant life, and there’s talk about God’s blessing in the midst of failures. Christian movies often risk becoming prosperity-gospel fairy tales: Once the characters pray and believe hard enough, their problems disappear. That’s not a picture of Christianity the martyrs or the persecuted church would recognize. Nothing Is Impossible tries to avoid that name-it-claim-it mindset, but we all know there’s a “happily ever after” at the end of this movie. The promise of a reward in heaven doesn’t fit the Hallmark Channel formula. Neither does talk of sin or repentance.

Nothing Is Impossible is family-­friendly entertainment, giving ­viewers some feel-good moments, from both inspirational athleticism and romantic frisson. It’s also refreshing to see a positive depiction of Christianity. Just don’t expect to find any deep theological truths in this film. Hallmark Channel movies offer an entertaining, yet shallow and candy-coated, view of romance. Nothing Is Impossible does the same thing, ­adding in some sugary, feel-good faith.

Collin Garbarino

Collin is WORLD’s arts and culture editor. He is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University and resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas.



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