An excellent film for select audiences.

by Martin Hafer

This film is based on a story by Robert Whitlow.  The title character, Jimmy (Ian Colletti) is a developmentally delayed teen living in Georgia.  He’s a very likable young man but has two strange quirks—he’s deathly afraid of water and he sees people no one else sees!  Now you’d think that perhaps this is a horror film… it isn’t!  Instead, these are benign people who seem to be watching over him and you immediately wonder if they might not be angels.  Exactly why he has both becomes apparent at the exciting conclusion of the movie.

The film begins with the viewer seeing Jimmy in danger on a dock at the lake.  What brought him to this situation and will he survive?  Well, the scene changes to two months earlier and slowly through the course of the film you learn about Jimmy’s life and death struggle at the end of the film and the events leading to it.

Directed by
Mark Freiburger
Kelly Carlson, Ted Levine, Burgess Jenkins
Release Date
Out Now
Martin’s Grade: B+

In the meantime, he learns a lot about growing up, overcoming his fears and putting his faith in God.  A huge dilemma for Jimmy is baptism, as his church is one that believes in immersion baptism, not the sprinkling kind—something that drives the young man into a panic attack.  Other dilemmas also arise—including what to do when you learn secrets that might get him or someone else hurt.

Jimmy is clearly a family film for Christian audiences.  Fortunately, it does not come off as heavy-handed and can be enjoyed by a wider audience than some religious films.  It also doesn’t seem patronizing when it comes to folks with intellectual delays.  I should point out, however, that viewers should be at least 8 to 10 years old in my opinion, as there is some violence and intense situations that might scare younger viewers.  Additionally, the acting and production values are surprisingly good for this sort of movie.

I was particularly impressed by Mr. Colletti, as he sure did a great job in the title role.  I have no idea if this young man is actually developmentally delayed or just did a great job in portraying someone who is.  The bottom line is that he was very convincing and will impress you in this role.  As for the rest, I didn’t recognize these people but they all seemed very natural—which is a testament to the direction by Mark Freiburger.  The film is entertaining and well worth your time.  My only complaint, and it’s minor, is that sometimes the film used the roving camera technique—with some jerky movement that is very popular recently.  I could do without this myself.

Watch the trailer here.