"In-Lawfully Yours," an enchanting romantic comedy from the creators of Christian Mingle, arrived on DVD on September 6 and promises to inspire, encourage and uplift viewers of all ages.
The heartwarming film tells the story of Jesse (Chelsey Crisp), a quick-witted New York City girl whose husband, Chaz (Philip Boyd), cheats on and later divorces her. Nevertheless, Jesse moves in with her recently widowed mother-in-law, Naomi (Marilu Henner), to help her pack up her home in the small-town of Bethel Cove.
At first, Jesse's big city ways cause her to clash with the local community, including the town's pastor Ben (Joe Williamson), who also happens to be her ex-husband's brother-in-law. In an attempt to cheer up her mother-in-law, Jesse begins attending church for the first time. Curious about God and the Bible, Jesse makes waves after interrupting Pastor Ben's sermons to ask questions. However, her honesty and sincerity begin to win over people in the church, and the congregation begins to grow, too.
Eventually, Ben and Jesse discover what they are both looking for: each other. However, when they make their relationship public, Jesse's ex-husband rallies the community against her and gets Ben fired from the church. Distraught, Jesse leaves Bethel Cove to bring peace to Ben's situation, and to hopefully find a place where she truly belongs in spite of the fact that she can't stop thinking about Ben.
In an exclusive interview with The Gospel Herald, Henner, a best-selling author and radio host who has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including "Taxi" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", shared how her own experience of losing her dad at a young age allowed her to tap into the role of a grieving widow.
"It was a very different character than I've played before, because...I usually play very upbeat characters," Henner revealed. "But, I relished the challenge. We lost our dad very young, so I saw what my mom was like and what she went through, packing up his stuff and everything, and how it was such a difficult time for her. So, I felt like I had a lot to draw from."
In fact, Henner's real-life husband, Michael Brown, has a cameo appearance in the film as Henner's comatose husband, Lyle: "Having him play that part was helpful to me, as well," Henner said.
Growing up immersed in the Catholic Church also allowed Henner to connect with Naomi, who throughout the film finds comfort in her faith and church family.
"I spent thirteen years in Catholic school; my family grew up next to a Catholic church," she shared. "My mother used to to teach the nuns stretch classes, take them bra shopping and cut their hair, because she was the neighborhood beautician. My father would drive them on Sundays and I was the little girl in the backseat who would sing Broadway show tunes for them. We were quite connected in the Catholic church growing up, we had kind of backstage passes to Catholicism. I've always been a faith-based person anyway, very spiritual, so that part was easy."
Through comedy and romance, the film highlights the power of prayer and unconditional love. Henner hopes audience take away the importance of embracing everyone - no matter where they are on their faith journey.
"Faith is so personal to everybody," said Henner. "I think that the more accepting people are, the world will be a better place to live. One great thing about 'In-lawfully Yours' is that it's not just heavy handed faith-based film; it's a movie for everyone. I hope everybody sees it - there's such a nice balance in the film between seriousness and pathos and comedy."
Directed by Robert Kirbyson ("Snowmen," "Ctrl Z"), "In-Lawfully Yours" is approved by The Dove Foundation, which granted the film a 4 out of 5 rating and a faith-friendly seal for ages 12+. The film is available now on DVD and Digital HD.