Friday, April 27, 2012

Blue Like Jazz (movie review)

I have found it very difficult to write a review of Blue Like Jazz.  It is, as has been said, not another Christian movie.  And so I have found it hard to evaluate based on previously constructed film categories.  But here we go…

I love that it lacks the cheesiness and preachiness of typical Christian movies.  I love that the story is messy and real, that it avoids the cliché, everything-is-wrapped-up-nice-and-clean progression and ending.    I love that it is well-directed and well-acted.  I even love the fact that it made me squirm in my seat a number of times (There is a fair amount of foul language used, as well as some pretty crude conversations.  While these did bother me, I wondered if maybe that was the point, and maybe really being “in the world” and not simply “not of it” looks more like this than my own life does… shame on me).

The story is compelling, funny, and profound.  It is not a perfect movie, but I think most of my complaints come from wishing there was more.  A couple of the transitions in the story, especially near the end, felt a little rushed.  I also wanted a couple characters to be developed a little more.  But these are overall good problems; wishing the movie would have been stretched out a little more is definitely better than wishing it would be over already.

I am almost certain that someday I will write more about this.  Blue Like Jazz is a movie that starts discussions… important discussions about faith, doubt, Christianity in a secular culture, forgiveness, and so much more.  Make no mistake about it: Blue Like Jazz is bizarre, slightly offensive, and completely fascinating.  I would expect nothing less from the Steve Taylor and Donald Miller duo. 

Do yourself a favor and go see it.  Your toes will most certainly be stepped on… and I believe you will walk better because of it.

Find out where it is playing near you here.