I Can Only Imagine tells the story behind the best-selling Christian song of all time, by Mercy Me.
I had only seen one trailer for this movie and was not sure what to expect. This is the life story of Bart Millard, who was played by J. Michael Finley. Bart suffered many years of abuse by his father (Dennis Quaid), his mom abandoned them, and he was trying to find his way. Bart tried hard to follow his dad’s footsteps and do the only thing that he thought would make him proud, which was to be a star football player. After getting severely hurt, he could no longer play football and stumbled into the Glee club. It was there that he found his singing talent. Of course, he was embarrassed to even let his dad know about this, knowing it would not be good enough, and he would still not win his approval. Nothing Bart did was worthy in his father’s eyes and was told “Dreams don’t pay the bills”.
Bart joined a band and we saw the typical struggle that new bands go through. He was now hearing from others in the music industry that he just wasn’t good enough. Bart kept a positive attitude for the most part and persevered.
After returning home from being on the road, Bart went home to find that his dad appeared to be a completely different person. He then finds out his dad has cancer, is dying and has found God. The two form a strong bond and become closer than ever imagined. After Bart’s dad dies, he writes the song “I Can Only Imagine”. This song was written from the heart and had everything in it to make him and his band, Mercy Me, superstars.
Bart was also now able to give and receive love and reunited with his ex-girlfriend, who he married shortly after his success.
I Can Only Imagine is a powerful song that’s meaning was told very well through this movie. It’s a movie about inspiration, hope, forgiveness and redemption. The movie has a great cast of well known people, but J. Michael Finely and Dennis Quaid truly shine. Be sure to bring a box of tissues because there wasn’t a dry eye in the entire theater!