Wednesday, April 27, 2016


There have been wonderful faith-based movies made by African-American producers like Tyler Perry, T.D. Jakes and others. However “Love Different” is a body of work by Producer/Director Anthony Hackett which defies a label and even a category. It is so woven with continuously flowing themes of humor, love, faith and human interaction that 94 minutes go by without you noticing.

“Love Different” tells the tale of a young Iowa born and bred woman (expertly portrayed by Christian actress Jenn Gotzon as Lindsay Walker) who accepts a job at an all-black consulting firm in Maryland.  Right off the bat, we know where this is heading. The humor and cultural clash immediately become evident, fueled by some excellent writing by Anthony Hackett and his team. 

Lead Actress Jenn Gotzon
The head of the consulting firm, the affable Mr. Chamberlain, assigns his best consultant – JonNeque (Neque) Campbell to come alongside Lindsay Walker in order to give her a two day crash course in “Black Culture” after discerning that his new consultant may be unable to relate to her prospective new clientele! The humorous crash course in the culture fall under the rubric of “don’t try this at home, folks”.

However, while this is going on, a few subplots develop. One subplot involves  Neque’s  equally professional wife, a regular church-going woman, who is beginning to feel neglected. The second subplot revolves around the Jenn Gotzon character (Lindsay) and her parenting skills with her teenage son. Both main characters in this warm, humanity-enhancing film are individually competent in their careers, but are also works in progress – needing to “love differently”. Neque is in need of understanding his wife’s “love language” – attention. Lindsay’s need at this time is to be firmer in a phase of discipline with her rebellious but really obedient son, with tough love. 
Anthony Hacket

Apart from the obvious humorous situations  and scary moments,  there are some  intentional stereotypes which some of the general public may have of African American culture and life.  However, whether the Writer/Actor/Producer Anthony Hackett intended it or not, he hit on a powerful truth about the state of not just the inner city church, but youth ministry in general. When the mask Neque (the main character) was wearing fell away, after the two day crash course with Lindsay Walker, as to why he stopped going to church, it exposed a huge wound which has gone unattended for a generation now. This wound is the unattended to and gaping in the soul of young America.  

The premise Anthony Hackett used to underscore the title of his movie is the actual project on which he and Jenn Gotzon (Lindsay) are supposed to be working. It revolves around a public relations campaign for a youth outreach program, of a traditional church. Like many of the churches in any city’s older neighborhoods in America, this church had lost most of its youth and sought out this consulting agency to handle its outreach optics. 
As a lay minister/evangelist/event promoter who works across cultural lines in a city of about 120,000 in the Christian music and evangelism arena, I see the same world which “Love Different” addresses. It is universal. The Body of Christ has a generation of young people already gone because of the lack of love, truth and the Gospel. 

If this movie can spark renewal and a reflective look at our human interaction, in a personal, social, work and community level, it would be a beautiful statement. Love Different can be more than just another cute, funny and inspiring faith-based movie, it can be a catalyst for some church leaders to look in the mirror and get moving back to our original mission. That mission was given by Christ – love God, love people, make disciples.

Visit the following sites for more information:
Movie Website:
Producer Website:

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