Generally, I am not a big fan of "Christian films." And I know that Evangelicals are supposed to go see any movie with Kirk Cameron in it. :-) But I thought "Left Behind" was awful. That said, may I offer a word of praise for this film?
Ken and I saw an advanced showing. I'll be frank--I was prepared to hate it.
I liked it.
Is it great movie making? No. Is it Oscar worthy? No. Is it going to change marriage in America? No. It has some flaws. It is a bit too obvious, a bit too "pat." The acress who plays Kayla is--well--pretty amatuer. Kirk did much better.
But, on the plus side, I was surprised by the humor in the movie. There are some funny moments, and some funny characters. Yes, it is a movie with a message, but it is not overly preachy. There is no sermon, and no church segment, and no Billy Graham crusade. (NO, I'm not dissing Billy Graham.) I was waiting for the conversation where the firefighter character, Caleb, is told to offer "servant leadership" and (HOORAY!) that moment did not happen. He is offered a challenge, and perhaps some will find it simplistic. But I can't find fault with spending 40 days to focus on what real love is. I liked the juxtaposition of the hero fire fighter in public with the jerk husband at home. How like all of us, to one degree or another. And no one told the wife to just submit more.
This movie will not transform an abusive relationship into a healthy one. It will not save every marriage. But it will help some people to rethink what marriage is about, to examine themselves, to seek more loving ways to relate, and to invite God into the equation.
I saw Kirk Cameron on The Today Show this morning, and I am pleased to say that he handled the interview well, came across as warm and "normal" and approachable, did not preach or condemn or moralize. I was proud of him.
I'm encouraging my church folks to go see the movie as a sort of adjunct message to my marriage series. I applaud the filmakers--a church group! for not just complaining but doing something about it. Their efforts are commendable and worthy of praise. I hope that as they keep making films they will get better and better.
I'm interested in other's opinions. It opens this Friday, September 26.