By Laci Strouse
Olivia Golden was a marketing influencer who worked in a fashion boutique. Out of nowhere, she slipped and made a mistake that changed the trajectory of her life. Now jobless and cut off from her parent’s stability, she was challenged to navigate the real world to learn the true meaning of being an influencer.
Recently, social media and influencer-related jobs have soared through the market. “Divine Influencer” captured the essence of today’s outlook on social media influencers. Olivia Golden, played by Lara Silva, found financial stability by posting her everyday life and promoting brands, even ones that she disapproved of. In return, her income allowed her to own anything that she could possibly dream of. Ironically enough, despite being an influencer, she had no idea what it meant to be one. Being an influencer means changing lives, a lesson that Olivia came to know.
I enjoyed seeing the topic of social media influencers in a Christian film. It related to today’s society while showing the importance of remembering the world around us. It can be easy to get caught up in social media and staring at a screen, and forgetting to make face-to-face interactions and relationships with others. “Divine Influencer” related to today’s world by making that the focal point of the film.
I loved this dynamic but wasn’t a huge fan of Olivia’s personality in the film. She was portrayed as naive and ignorant. In one scene, she looks confused when her landlord wants her to pay with a check instead of paying her rent digitally. She also was late on all of her payments, despite being well-off financially. The directors exaggerated her ignorance due to her job title. I feel like that didn’t have to be included, but it definitely emphasized their point that she wasn’t living in the real world.
Despite Olivia’s personality, she had a great character arc portrayed throughout the movie. After being stripped of everything, she learned what it meant to change lives while staying at a rescue mission shelter. She used her talents in marketing to steward that to help others.
This was a great reminder for all people but especially students at Cedarville. Cedarville emphasizes the fact that no matter what your major or background is, you can use that for the glory of God. This is exactly what “Divine Influencer” did with the heart and attitude change of Olivia in the film. I appreciated this inclusion and seeing the theme carried on through Christian films.
Along with the character development, I also appreciated watching her testimony. Olivia slowly opened her heart to God through the people around her. Her love interest Ryan, played by Jason Burkey, influenced Olivia heavily through his prayer life, serving heart and humility in his career choice. He pushed Olivia to become a better person and to see the world as more than herself. Her parents influenced her through prayer and making the hard decision to cut her off financially because they knew she had to go through this trial. This trial of losing everything helped Olivia to gain what mattered most, which was a community and a heart for God.
At the beginning of the film, someone says, “May God bless you,” and Olivia replies with, “I didn’t sneeze.” She didn’t understand the Christian blessing and was uncomfortable when people prayed around her. Towards the end of the film, Olivia starts praying for others and calling out to God. It was a major shift that reflected her change of heart.
In the last thirty minutes of the film, Olivia ended up repeating the same mistake she made at the beginning of the movie, but this time she did it while trying to do something for good. I loved that this was added because it showed how even Christians and those living rightly will make mistakes. Once more Olivia hit rock bottom and was left sleeping on the streets. Through it all she stayed hopeful and cried out to God.
Overall, “Divine Influencer” was a sweet comfort movie that will encourage you to see the world as bigger than you. It will push you to grow a hunger to serve others and positively influence those around you.
My first thought when the movie started was “This is going to be cringy.” And while it may have had some cringy moments, overall it was very well done with beautiful themes presented throughout. I recommend this movie to people of all ages and backgrounds. It was a relaxing and inspiring film that influenced me to focus on others around me.
“Divine Influencer” can be seen on Pureflix.
Laci Strouse is a sophomore Professional Writing and Information Design major as well as a reporter for the Cedars. She enjoys reading Christian books, running, and enjoying fall-themed iced chai tea lattes.
Images courtesy of Pureflix.