There are very few movies that I really like anymore. A new-ish genre that has become somewhat popular is the Christian-ish or Uplifting Drama category. I’m always skeptical of these movies because as much as I want uplifting movies to be made, they are rarely made WELL! It seems that anything that pushes out of the norm and into the realm of good, wholesome and clean (especially when coupled with a Christian overtone) is plagued with substandard acting, poorly thought out story lines, contrived dialogue and a host of production issues.
Last night, Andy and I watched To Save a Life of which I was totally skeptical. The cover and plot summary suggested that this movie would surely fall to my expectations of the genre. However, I was surprised. This movie, while not featuring any famous actors, at least that I could see, and although sure to never be nominated for any Hollywood awards for acting, was a well thought out plot obviously done by someone who decided to stop pussyfooting around the issues and put it all out there. You wanna talk to kids? You want them to listen? Get on their level and talk about what they are really going through. Don’t mistake their look of boredom for a real lack in attention span. They can listen and pay attention for any amount of time when characters are developed and a story line applies to their lives. This movie did just that. It went right to the heart of the matter. It dealt with the issues of dating, sex, alcohol and drugs, suicide and all host of other things our teens deal with on a daily basis. There was no story book ending. There wasn’t a message of “Come to Jesus and it will all be ok.” The message that shined through it all was “TRY IT!” You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to stay. If you don’t try Jesus, you aren’t really seeing all your options. Sometimes, coming to Him doesn’t make your life seem better. Maybe it never was and when you come to Him, you start to care that it’s not fine. Maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe you are missing something. Maybe there’s more. But we aren’t going to tell you what that is for you. Just TRY IT!
There were a few things I noticed that got on my nerves about the acting and the production but that was overshadowed by the writing and the characters. Please see this movie. It’s worth your Saturday night.
Warning: There is sex, violence, language and drug and alcohol consumption. It’s rated PG13 for a reason. However, it’s all in a context that makes sense and is in no way frivolous! It speaks to teens because it’s what they deal with.