Where Hope Grows

Rated 2.0

In a pile of manure, apparently. Chris Dowling writes and directs this low-key Christian morality play about an alcoholic single father in desperate need of redemption. A washed-up ex-baseball player with no job, no prospects, a drinking problem and a teenage daughter whose virginity is under imminent threat, Calvin Campbell (Kristoffer Pohana) has hit the first-world version of rock bottom. Enter Produce (David DeSanctis), a plucky, Bible-toting grocery store stock boy with Down's Syndrome. Produce strikes up a conversation with Calvin during one of his many late-night liquor runs, starting a friendship that can only end in inspirational tragedy. DeSanctis is a force of nature, and for the most part this is less of a Bible thumper than a Bible tapper, but it gets downright shameless in the third act, including a climactic scene in which Produce rescues Calvin's daughter from getting raped in a laser tag arena. D.B.