Gracie Trey (AJ Michalka) was a good kid, too. She was raised by parents who cared for, nurtured and brought her up, not only in the church, but on the “platform” (church word for stage). John Trey (James Denton), alias Johnny Trey, had been a superstar, at least for a little while. He rose like a shooting star and crashed back to earth again, broken and spent. He finds God in the midst of his mess and never looks back.
John gave his six year old daughter her first guitar and from that day forward Grace and her Dad were inseparable. Their love of music was their bond and they were both really good at it—“naturals,” some would say. Along the way, Grace picks up the piano as well as a lot of “stage presence.” John leads the worship band in their church and Grace is his right hand. But somewhere along the way, Grace starts to dream of stardom.
It’s every parent’s dilemma. There is something embedded in us that we want more for our children; more than we had and more than we’ve achieved. We might want them to take over our family business and take it to new heights, or just maybe it’s the next hit single. But John had been there and barely survived, he knew well the pitfalls of Hollywood and that is the last thing in the world he wanted for Grace. He knew she wasn’t safe out there and he, above all, wanted her to be safe.
Let’s go back to Justin or Miley and their predecessors, who are many. Whether it’s getting an inheritance at eighteen or being “discovered” at 12, kids do not have the maturity to go down that road alone. I remember when Miley Cyrus was interviewed by Barbara Walters in the beginning of her career. Her father, Billy was there and the crux of the conversation was about her being a good girl, raised right and not about to stray from her Christian values. If you are even living in the same country you know how that has turned out. We have the same story for Justin Bieber. It makes you wonder what these kids are thinking. The fact is, probably, they aren’t. They either turn 18 or amass enough money where their parents no longer have any influence over them. Money can be a blessing or a cruel taskmaster and for the most part, these kids don’t know the difference until it’s too late.
Grace Unplugged is a wonderful, well written and acted film. It’s a great movie to watch with your kids or your grandkids. It may be just the thing that keeps them from over glamorizing stardom. I highly recommend it even if you aren’t there for the faith aspect. It’s easy to rent and well worth the buck thirty! I look forward to your comments at email@example.com.