Blue Like Jazz—a “Christian” movie, or perhaps not…

~Sunday~ Today I did something totally unexpected—I went to see a “Christian” movie, albeit ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Director Steve Taylor Says Film Isn’t ‘Christian’.

I heard about this movie via a Facebook friend, Mike Morrell, whom I’ve met on a couple of occasions, each time connected with an event sponsored by, or to which I was invited by, my friend Hugh Hollowell.

A couple of things enticed me into checking out this movie:

  1. Michael and Hugh are a part of a group who strive to be what I think of as “non-judgmental Christians,” which as most of my friends will assert is pretty much an oxymoron.
  2. Michael’s appeal to “get out there and support an independent film,” which is, by and far, the kind of film I see most often.
  3. The Wild Goose Festival, which is an event that I’m currently planning to attend in June, has partnered with the makers of the film in publicizing it.
  4. I found the synopsis interesting enough:
    Based on Donald Miller’s best-seller about his struggles with Christianity, Blue Like Jazz distinguishes itself by creating a young protagonist filled with doubts — that he’s willing to act on.

    Marshall Allman plays Don, the son of an evangelical mother (Jenny Littleton) and a deadbeat atheist dad (an effective Eric Lange). Worried that his son will be brainwashed at a Christian college, he enrolls him at the liberal Reed College in Portland, Ore.

Here’s the trailer:

My observations and reflections on the movie:

  1. There were several points of conflict in this story, which of course is what makes a good story.
    • The religious mother vs. the atheist father.
    • The hypocrisy of some of the religious people.
    • The struggle between “fitting in” and “being authentic.”
    • The number of demons that everybody seems to be battling with at any given time.
  2. I’m not a fan of scenes in a “real” movie morphing into fantasy (and by fantasy, I mean fantastic, and by fantastic, I mean the “remote from reality” meaning of the word), and there were a few of those scenes.
  3. I liked how there was virtually no judgment made about the Lesbian character in this movie, and she was in one of my favorite scenes, which happens early on in the movie.
  4. I liked the notion of “being in the closet about your religion” that was bandied about, although I would have liked to have seen it explored a little more.
  5. I do think there was just a little too much hyperbole in making the point that Reed college was “liberal.” One of the reviews noted that it at times, became more like a “caricature” of a liberal college, which I tend to agree with.
  6. Overall, I’m happy the film was finally made (its production history is interesting), and I’m glad I supported it.

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