Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When I watch a Christian movie, I try not to give it a ‘free pass’ just because I am a Christian.

If you took the time to make a movie that you think should be worth my cold hard cash, it had better be worth my cold, hard cash.

I want good writing, believable characters, and plausible action. I want to enjoy the proceedings and not have to say “come on” to myself.

I do not want to question the shaky philosophy, I do not want to deal with over the top evil characters, and the Christians better not be complete saints.

Just as I believe film makers shouldn’t cut corners on family movies, Christian movies should be well done. Fart jokes and characters who are stereotypes need to be put away.

Do-you-believe-So when my church decided to show Do You Believe? I was filled with dread. The title alone signaled that it was a Christian movie with a big ‘C.’ My fear is that the movie would be pompous and unbearable.

I hate those kind of movies.

But I wanted to be fair.

The movie works into the stories of the homeless mom, a gangsta wannabee, the couple dealing with the loss of their only child, a pastor and his wife facing infertility, a vet going through PTSD, a pregnant teen, and a woman who tries to commit suicide. The toughest story is of a paramedic who is trying to comfort a dying man with his faith. But the problem is the dying man is a humanist who does not believe in God.

This puts the paramedic on shaky ground with his work and his wife, a nurse at the hospital. They worry about his job although he wants to be true to his faith. They go to the church lead by our preacher who has an experience with a street preacher carrying a cross. Our preacher is asked if he believes in the cross, how is he living it?

And that leads to a sermon which inspires a number of people in our story to live their faith, to develop faith, to live once more.

Do You Believe still ted Mcginley

Ted McGinley

The performances of this movie are well done whether it is big name people such as Lee Majors, Cybil Shepard, and Mira Sorvino or other people I have never heard of. They are balanced and sincere. The stories played out well. Even the big event that causes a chain reaction of disasters feels organic.

What doesn’t feel organic is the performance of the humanist characters. The husband and wife team feel angry and resentful about God, and it feels over the top. We don’t get a reason or a true explanation as we do for other characters who have reason to doubt God. It paints them in a corner that feels unfair.

This was my only true problem with the movie. Otherwise, this is one of those movies that’s good but not great.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.