I did something unusual for me the other day. I went to a movie...by myself. Shocking, isn't it? Actually, it kind of is on a couple of levels. One, I don't go to movies very often and two, I really never go to movies by myself. It was a good thing. I deliberately drove to work instead of taking the bus (thus messing up the adventures of the car stalker, but she was really gracious about it), purchased a ticket online while at work and went to the last matinee of the day.
I went to see Blue Like Jazz. I read the book by Donald Miller a long time ago and have followed the process of the movie being filmed over the last couple of years. It has been awhile since I read the book, so I went into it just knowing I liked the book but not remembering all the details.
Can I just say, the previews for the movies, before Blue Like Jazz began, made me very uncomfortable? When the five other people in the theater are over the age of 50 and remind me of my parents, viewing previews with so many sex scenes was just awkward. AWKWARD!
Anyway, I went to the movie to A.) support the filmmakers, writers and people who helped produced the movie and B.) to watch a movie that deals with faith in a real way. I rarely view "Christian" movies. I find many of them pious and out of touch with reality. Blue Like Jazz isn't a Christian movie, per se. The movie deals with issues of faith but I wouldn't categorize it in the Christian genre. Which, IMHO, is so refreshing.
There were moments when I was confused and trying really hard to remember where some scenes were in the book (answer: they probably weren't). I was admittedly distracted wondering what the other people in the theater were thinking, especially with the one part, with the one thing at the church. (Yes, being vague.) When I stopped allowing myself to think about the people around me, I could appreciate the movie for what it was, an honest reflection of a young man's journey away from and back to his understanding of faith. There wasn't an altar call. There wasn't a pronouncement of the saving power of Jesus. The moment was simple, the main character found his way back to the faith that he had abandoned...and took ownership of his part in how others viewed faith in God.
I don't know if this movie is going to have a profound effect on people. I don't know if many people are going to "come to Jesus" because of this movie. To me, it simply doesn't matter. I walked out of the movie wondering what my part has been in the story of God, in the story of faith in this world. I walked out pondering my own faith journey. I walked out wondering if there are people out there that need to hear my own confessions. If every Christian who sees this movie walks out pondering their own story, I think the movie will have done it's job.