The Favorite

The Favorite
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faith
integrity
sex
language
violence
drugs
nudity
other

Synopsis

Benjamin Bernard has always wanted to be the favorite son, but his brother Luke is loved more—or so he perceives. He might perceive this because Luke is a soccer player, and that’s his father, Daniel’s, favorite sport. To cope with his anger and resentment, Benjamin became a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

The two grown brothers are on a date with their girlfriends, Ashley and Rebecca, when a tragic car accident takes place, resulting in a fatality and leaving Luke battling for his life.

The brothers now must fight not only for Luke’s life, but for their relationship with each other, their friends, family and God. One brother is healed physically; the other is transformed spiritually. In this family dynamic, they experience love, forgiveness, loss, healed relationships, and ultimately the realization that we are all God’s favorite.

Dove Review

Ben and Luke Bernard are extremely talented, smart young men with a fantastic set of godly parents and a world of opportunity awaiting them. Luke is a star soccer player on the cusp of reaching his dreams, starting a family, and having it all. Ben has an adoring girlfriend, rising success in his MMA career, and a family who loves him.

Unfortunately, Ben is unable to see the good all around him, and instead lives life feeling dejected, unloved, and angry. He displays virtually no self-control and is constantly competing for his father’s affections. Believing that his brother is “the favorite,” Ben’s overcompensation leads to emotional outbursts and reckless behavior, leaving a strained relationship with God and his family.

When Ben and Luke are in a devastating accident, the entire family’s faith is tested, and Ben is sent careening down a dangerous path of drinking, anger and regret. Ben has so closely linked the perceived lack of love from his dad with the love of God that he’s nearly given up on them both. Angry and guilt-ridden, Ben must figure out how to win a completely different fight–the fight within.

Inspired by true events, The Favorite is a story written and created by Luke Benjamin Bernard, who uses his own experiences, personal tragedies and triumphs to create a story that is dramatic, interesting and inspirational. He effectively divides his own person into two unique characters, brothers Ben and Luke, and the viewer is able to see this tragedy from two sides. Using a father’s love as the overarching theme, the film dives in with jam-packed fight scenes, drama, a pinch of romance, and a lot of faith. The Favorite is a work of fiction with real-life heart.

What I find most interesting and impressive about this film is how it weaves such a punchy thematic story right under the viewer’s nose. What I mean by that is, I watched it thinking it was just about a bratty guy whose family endures a tragedy and gets a miracle. But after watching the film to the end, it dawned on me the entire story from start to finish was a beautiful allegory about the Father’s love. By the end, it’s extremely clear that Ben only realizes God’s love for him when he can finally appreciate his dad’s love. Maybe I was slow on the uptake, or maybe this film is just brilliant—either way, it’s worth the watch.

Though there is quite a bit of violence because MMA plays a big part in the main character’s life, it isn’t over the top. Otherwise, the film is pretty clean. But as always, use your best judgment. This would be a great film for teens and young adults, with plentiful talking points for families and small groups.

Dove Take

Inspired by true events, The Favorite is a story written and created by Luke Benjamin Bernard, who also stars in the film. Mr. Bernard uses his own experiences, personal tragedies and triumphs to create a story that is dramatic, interesting, and inspirational. Using a father’s love as the overarching theme, the film contains jam-packed fight scenes, drama, a pinch of romance, and a lot of faith. The Favorite is a work of fiction with real-life heart.

We award The Favorite the Dove Approved 12+ Seal.

Content Description

Faith: Ben & Luke’s parents, friends and others steadfastly pray for their son’s recovery as well as demonstrating genuine Christ-like love and patience in difficult circumstances. Other characters exhibit positive strides toward a relationship with Christ.
Integrity: Many characters demonstrate fortitude amid trying times; Ben completes an arc of positive change.
Sex: A few kisses between a young couple; a man caresses a woman’s leg
Language: A few inappropriate comments about a “G-string;” G-1.
Violence: MMA style fighting with blood (a main character is a semi-professional MMA fighter) including kicking, punching, etc.; bloody injuries from a car accident; two men are badly beaten up (with blood); part of a young man’s skull is missing from a healed injury.
Drugs: A few scenes of drinking (used as a coping mechanism by a main character who later gives it up).
Nudity: Shirtless men during some fight scenes; a dancer wears a tight outfit which exposes her back and cleavage.
Other: There are several angry outbursts and emotional/heavy moments in general (could make great talking points for young viewers).

Info

Company: The Favorite Movie LLC
Writer: Luke Benjamin Bernard and Melinda Ledman
Director: Curtis Graham
Producer: Daniel Bernard and Luke Benjamin Bernard
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 108 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Cammie H.