Friday, November 06, 2009
To Save A Life
I recently attended a pre screening of the movie, To Save A Life. I have to admit; 5 days later I’m still rewinding and replaying.
The movie was relevant. It was professionally shot, produced and packaged. It leveraged the best talent and made a movie that teenagers would relate to. At times I didn’t know if I was watching TSAL or Adam Herz.
This was not a “Christian” movie. The word “Christian” makes a great noun, “I am a 'Christian'”. But the word also makes a horrible adjective (ie “Christian” movie). This movie played to Christian themes and came from a solid moral base but didn’t have a Disneyesque happy ending, not all the female actors wore turtle necks during the pool scene and not all the language was taken from the Baptist Quarterly.
It was an effective launch point for deep discussion. Any savvy teen would be able to bring a friend to and use this movie as a basis for natural, intentional, gospel presentation. The way the issues were dealt with in real time and not neatly packaged actually left for post movie, Starbucks dialogue.
The door was opened on several controversial issues (almost too many at the risk of plot deluge) and light was cast on heavy challenges teens face on a daily basis. The movie guided the challenges in a way for constructive conversation and positive situation handling where most teen movies just leave the heavy issue hanging out there or even have the movie deal with it in a way we would not.
In the end the movie was entertaining but the real value is that is a powerful tool. When priming would be viewers it would be wise NOT to compare this movie with a 75 million dollar thriller. Even tough TSAL can hold its own, at the end of the day, we want our teens trained and walking away with a tool that that can be used to help their friends more than a laugh and half a bag of popcorn.