Not Today
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Cody Longo, Walid Armini, Persis Karen, John Schneider, Shari Rigby, Cassie Scerbo. Drama. Written & directed by Jon Van Dyke.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Living as large as any 20-year-old could dream, Caden Welles’ expectations of a never-ending party in India crash hard – but not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. After he discovers the father has sold his daughter, thinking she is going to a better life, not one of slavery, Caden is shocked, unnerved and guilt ridden.

Attempting to right his wrong, Caden’s eyes are forced open to a world few Americans know exists: the thriving human-trafficking trade. Spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely friendship, and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend, Caden leads an unlikely search for the girl.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Not Today is not without its cinematic faults. At times early on, it seems stilted, choppy, as if badly edited by an absentee director, and top-heavy with its MESSAGE. And the lead is one-dimensional (in the opening scenes), and a little too unlikable. But the film turns a corner, becoming an engaging acknowledgement/reminder of an unbelievable crime that exists worldwide – human trafficking.

The acting also sparks up as if all before the camera were suddenly being directed, not just photographed. It eventually becomes a movie showing naive people coming face to face with injustice, not just an agenda-driven commercial for a well-intentioned organization.

I tend to be a bit jaded when it comes to organizations turning movies into telegrams. Heaven knows we have enough wrongs to right here in the U.S., so why go to the other side of an ungrateful world to do good deeds? But where does that leave us? Do we ignore the spreading of evil around the world? Do we just help others in the hope that, after doing so, they will love us? Evil seems to have the upper hand at this stage of mankind’s existence, but do we merely sit back and say, “God will fix it in his own time”?

Not Today eventually gets us involved in the story and characterizations. What’s more, the film battles our indifference, our self-involvement, and our cynicism. We’re Americans and, despite our foibles, of which some of our own countrymen think we have in abundance, we have a compassion for our fellow man like no other country. We are generous of spirit and, once made aware of a problem, we fix it. Or at least try. And occasionally a movie can be an insightful telegram.

Not Today presents the problem, and then suggests ways we can solve it. My advice – see the film. And before you attend, pray the Holy Spirit will direct you. Who knows, seeking ways to battle evil deeds could become a ministry for you.

Not looking for ways to battle evil deeds? Well, then you really need to pray.

Not Today receives its PG-13 rating for subject matter, but the content is handled discreetly as well as compassionately. There’s no objectionable language or graphic sexuality. The subject of what happens to little girls sold into sex slavery is suggested rather than visually represented.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
“DELETES: The Plight of the Dalits” featurette
“A Look Behind Not Today” featurette
“Why Not Today – The Story That Inspired the Movie” featurette
“Not Today Coalition” featurette
Not Today Partner Videos

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Lions Gate Films

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Brief fight scene.
Sexual Intercourse: The subject of what happens to little girls sold into sex slavery is suggested rather than visually represented.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Teen drinking.
Other: Don’t bring your little ones to see it. You want to try to explain the subject to your little child?
Running Time: 118 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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