|Visual Reviews | New This Week | Out Now | New This Week | Coming Soon | The Buzz | Index | Archive A-Z|
Blue Like Jazz (2012)
Friday, April 13, 2012
Mature thematic material, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and some language.
Marshall Allman, Claire Holt, Tania Raymonde
Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, Ben Pearson
In "Blue Like Jazz," Don (Allman), a pious nineteen-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his evangelical upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland.
Blue Like Jazz (2012) | Review
Too Easily Resolved
Congratulations are in order to (the real) Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, and Ben Pearson, for being Christians that produce something slightly more authentic than other Christian features in recent years. Tackling the subject they do, though, still feels several feet short of the goal. While conflictedness and yearning for Truth (as well as growing contempt for a powerless, form-filled religious system) is a theme in the lives of many these days, a story arc that spans only two semesters in university, and yet seems to come to a conclusion of any sort, cannot ultimately deliver. It feels like a well-written high school term paper... on a subject that requires at least a doctoral dissertation. Good effort, great intentions, but ultimately not enough time or depth to actually be realistic.
For those on the road out of religion and searching for a deeper reality, this movie probably has more to say to those just starting out. For many who are still carrying on with religion as usual, but beginning to think and question, this story may give them the encouragement and something more to chew on. However, the danger present is the too-smooth ending, which feels like the viewer is expected to happily pay the check and depart satisfied, seconds after the food has been set down in front of them. No time for paced ingestion, forget about thoughtful digestion.
Unfortunately, those who need this film the most, those who are sincerely entrenched in a religion that does not actually reflect the life of the One on whom it was based, will not find enough of a nagging, open-ended question accompanying them out of the theatre. Like the main character, they will most likely seem to settle back into their doctrine, perhaps a few seats down from where they started, rather than truly setting off on the long road of discovery.
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
More About Blue Like Jazz
Home | Movies | DVDs | Music | Books | Comix | TV | Games | Sports | HJ Live! | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Contact Us | Subscribe | Donate