So I finally got to watch Blue Like Jazz. We went to the first show, and I’m hoping the reason there were only about five of us in there was because everyone else was at work and would be watching later this evening.
I’ve already written about how much I loved the book. In preparation for the movie, I’ve been looking for my copy so I could re-read it. But I couldn’t find it. Turned out, the hubby had it and left it somewhere, where our dog got to it and chewed some pages out. So of course the hubby thought he’d better hide it, you know, to save his own neck.
While I didn’t get to re-read the book, I did read the reviews. And honestly, part of me was expecting certain scenes in the movie to be a bit vulgar. You know, cause so many people were up in arms against it. Most of them from the church community.
I read the movie talked about sex. And had drug scenes. And drinking scenes. Having only dated one guy and marrying him, and never having tried drugs or gone to drinking parties, I could understand the apprehension.
But there was nothing in the movie that was worse than anything on MTV, or Glee, or any of those shows teenagers watch these days. In fact, the movie showed much less, totally just what was needed to make the story real.
And there was nothing in the story that was made up about the church. We all know someone who messed up, big or small. Take it to another level of honesty—we’ve all messed up. At times in big ways that are hard to hide, and most of the time, in small ways that are easy to sweep under the rug.
And, as an artist, I understand the need to make the movie look and feel real. I know it’s all part of telling a good story. To make it authentic.
So I think all the controversy is unfair. It was very obvious that the director, the script writers, the actors and everyone involved in the movie put a lot of thoughtful consideration into how to tell a masterful story, and what elements to include to achieve the most authentic product. And I think they succeeded.
Having said that, I understand why the movie’s director would not let his 15-year-old child watch the movie. I think I’m going to wait until my sons leave for college. It’ll be a good graduation gift. Although, as the hubby pointed out, by the time the boys get to college, nothing in Blue Like Jazz would shock them. And I have a feeling he is right.
Finally, I’m so glad the movie retained what I loved most about the book. Life is messy, and questions are okay. God isn’t a coward, He won’t be threatened by all my searching. And really loving Jesus means getting into that mess. It means getting out of this sub-culture I’ve been lounging in and starting to love those outside my bubble. Because Jesus loves them too.
That end scene, in the confession booth. The truths in the conversation broke my heart. They tore at my conscience. And while my tears were the more obvious response, I’ve a feeling I’ll never forget the faces and events that flashed through my head even as I watched the scene unfold.
I am a Christian. I love the church. I am a Southern Baptist. I love my denomination. And there was nothing in the movie that I felt was a direct attack on my faith and my denomination. On the contrary, the honesty was refreshing. Because the ugly truth is, we all mess up. And right where we fall, His grace has been waiting all along.