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New Film ‘What Rhymes With Reason’ Is a Powerful Resource Addressing Teen Depression, Suicide

What Rhymes With Reason
Image courtesy of What Rhymes With Reason

Parents and youth leaders concerned about their teens’ mental health have a unique opportunity in the upcoming film, “What Rhymes With Reason,” set to release on Oct. 10, which is World Mental Health Day.

Mark Dvornik, former executive vice president at Paramount Pictures who is now with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), lost his son to suicide and says the movie is a valuable conversation-starter.

“I think this film is entertaining,” said Dvornik, who is a production consultant on the film and also appears in it. “It reminds me of ‘Goonies,’ but set in a high school setting. But most importantly, it really teaches us to love everybody where they are right now and help them get along in their journey.”

‘What Rhymes With Reason’ Spotlights Teen Mental Health Challenges

Director Kyle Roberts, who came to know Jesus through Young Life and volunteered with Young Life for eight years, describes “What Rhymes With Reason” as a “faith-adjacent, coming-of-age adventure drama.”

The movie follows a group of friends who go on an adventure to find a landmark in the wilderness “while confronting the darkness within themselves.” Cast members include Bart Johnson (“High School Musical”), Ricardo Hurtado (“School of Rock”), and Gattlin Griffith (“The Boys”). 

A press release for the film says it will show in over 650 theaters for one night only “and includes a special message from the filmmakers sharing their passion for stories that address the mental health challenges facing today’s youth.” Stating that 1 in 10 teens suffer depression at any given time, the film’s creators are encouraging parents and youth leaders to bring 10 teens to see the film on Oct. 10. 

“I lost my son to suicide,” said Dvornik, “and I know that a lot of people struggle, and that hurt is real, and those resources sometimes aren’t always available. So for me personally, anybody that can be helped by these resources can be one life of many that will be changed.” 

“When someone is hurting, it’s hard because a lot of people don’t know where to turn to get them help,” Dvornik observed. “And now with resources like 988, it makes it real easy for people to help others. And the other thing is a conversation…‘How are you doing?’ And maybe a film like this would help the conversation happen with people in high school.”

988 is the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal ideation or any other mental health crisis, call 988 for free and confidential support.

Parents and church leaders can visit the “What Rhymes With Reason” website to find resources for churches as well as ticketing information.