Mark Miller’s life seems perfect. He has a great job, huge house, and an amazing wife. What some only dream about is his reality. But from one second to the next something happens that changes everything. One day his boss tells him that his company is on the brink of bankruptcy, so they fire him. Mark’s enviable life crumbles like a house of cards. He cannot pay his bills anymore, so he loses his cars, his house and due to his frustration, his relationship with his wife also goes bust. He does his best to stop this from happening but he has to realize that he cannot fix his life on his own. He loses everything that was ever important to him, but in the meantime he finds God. After this point he changes something and he has experiences he would have never expected.
“New Chance” is the perfect title for this film because that is exactly what it is about. Gyula Mesterhazy gives a strong performance as Mark Miller, an advertising executive who finds solace in his work after the unexpected death of his young daughter three years earlier. His secretary comments to a fellow worker that “he never smiles.” Still, he is most efficient at his job.
However, Mark’s wife Naomi (Waleska Latorre) finds comfort in her relationship with God and in attending church, something Mark doesn’t share with her. Naomi doesn’t force the issue and he doesn’t fight her about going to church, although he makes it clear he doesn’t think much of God.
The Millers’ trials grow worse when Mark and his entire advertising department are canned due to financial hardships the company experiences. Mark faces weeks and then months of unemployment, becoming frustrated as he gets little to no response from his resume submissions. He is told time and time again that the company he applied to has chosen someone else. He watches as his paintings, cars, and other possessions are taken away by the bank.
Finally, after a painful remark he makes to his wife, Mark realizes that he does indeed need God. He goes to the church alone to seek God and he remembers the words of his daughter, who told him that Jesus would always care for him. He makes a decision to follow Christ, and eventually things improve. He lands a job and moves into a more affordable apartment with his wife. He gives a young executive a second chance when the young man tries to sabotage his work out of jealousy. Mark tells him that everyone needs a “new chance” once in a while. It makes an impression on the young man and when an event happens that is beyond Mark’s control, he will need a new chance himself. And his help comes from a surprising source.
Gyula Mesterhazy makes this movie work. He gives a believable and nuanced performance as a hard-working man hit with difficult problems. The audience will sympathize with him and root for him. The ending is powerful, showing what can happen when a person endures the tests of life and trusts God. We are happy to present this movie our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. Its themes of forgiveness and waiting on God are a fascinating look into our modern and unique problems, and how people handle them differently. Ultimately, this film is a story of trusting God for a “new chance.” This is a neat story and we encourage those who want to see an excellent faith-based movie to watch it as soon as possible.