Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with several film projects in development for both television and theatrical distribution. She is also a 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Winner for spiritually uplifting screenplays, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Caroline currently serves as EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a film finance and production company headquartered in the Atlanta area. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and three children and can be found at

At The Movies


CourageousAt the recent ICRS convention in Atlanta, I was blessed with the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the Kendrick brothers’ newest film, Courageous, which opens nationwide September 30. It is an ensemble picture, featuring four law enforcement officers in a small Southern town who struggle with the responsibility of fatherhood. The main character, Adam Mitchell (played by Alex Kendrick), is too busy with work to spend quality time with his little daughter and teenage son, while his best friend and sidekick, Nathan Hayes (played by Ken Bevel), dishes out the quality time by sheltering his blossoming daughter from an inappropriate relationship with a new street gang inductee. The other two officers, more minor in their roles, deal with issues such as abandonment and integrity, and they grapple with how divorce and sex outside of wedlock lead one down the road to ruin.

This movie had some great action sequences, including cop chases, shoot-outs, gang violence, and narrow brushes with death. The story line is entertaining and keeps viewers on the edges of their seats, and the acting was very strong. Some may disagree, but I think both Kendrick and Bevel are appealing onscreen and evoke the same level of passion, emotion, and dramatic intrigue as the average Hollywood actor.

This film is a departure from the other Kendrick movies, in that halfway through the story, a major tragedy throws a wrench in the plotline that will have you grasping for your hankies. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, parents will be jolted at the unexpected event that occurs. Redemption comes later, and it is quite emotional, even though I predict the hard-hearted viewer will consider the conclusion to be quite sappy. But being the softy that I am—and a mother of two girls—I cried like a baby.

Now for the best part: Javier Martinez (played by Robert Amaya)! As the Kendrick brothers well know, every good tragedy needs comic relief to keep the audience from sinking into major depression—think Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Javier is a hysterical, down-and-out Hispanic construction worker who struggles to keep his wife and children clothed and fed. Unable to get a job, he prays to the Lord and relies on his faith, only to miraculously land a position building a shed for the Mitchell family. Hilarity ensues as Javier and Adam banter back and forth over kidney stones—go see the film and you’ll see what I mean. This leads to a side-splitting scene in the back of a cop car that I can’t wait for my fifteen-year-old son to see. Here is where I think the Kendrick films really shine. While Christian values are espoused and the gospel is preached, the humor among the male characters appeals to secular and Christian viewers alike, adding that extra something that sticks in the heart and mind long after the film is over. If you see the movie for only one reason, go to see Javier.

The mantra of the film is courage, of course, and “honor begins at home.” Like the Love Dare in Fireproof, this movie has a similar vehicle for solidifying the characters’ commitment to family—it is a written decree, including a list of resolutions for being a godly husband and father, that is signed by all five characters at a formal ceremony. The decree is available for purchase (and nicely framed as well), which some may view as a gimmick to sell products. But I disagree. The resolution was woven into the story in a very effective way and helped bring the movie to a logical, climatic ending.

This is a great family film for all ages. You will laugh, cry, squirm in your seat, and go for a nice, wild ride. Courage is thought-provoking, as well, and will surely lead to much lively discussion and ample opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. So enjoy! You won’t be disappointed.