An uncommon thoughtfulness about spiritual issues distinguishes this otherwise generic coming-of-age story: the filmmakers show affection for devout and atheistic characters alike, arriving at a sincere defense of religion within secular society that never smacks of proselytizing. The hero, a devout Southern Baptist suffering a crisis of faith, enrolls at left-leaning Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and after embracing activities he once considered shameful—drinking, political activism, hanging out with lesbians—he learns to reconcile his devotion with his new freethinking attitude. Director Steve Taylor adapted a memoir by Donald Miller, who collaborated with him on the script; the spacey score is by Danny Seim of the Portland band Menomena.