Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blue Like Jazz

It's been a long time since I've read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  I don't remember much about it, other than that I liked his other book Through Painted Deserts more than I liked Blue Like Jazz.

This weekend, I was looking through the new releases on Netflix looking for something to watch when I ran across the movie Blue Like Jazz.  I'm not really sure what I think about it.  I don't know if I would have kept watching if I hadn't known that the author helped make the movie.  The movie didn't follow the book, but was written as a type of interpretation of the book because people didn't think that the book would make an interesting enough movie.  I know that they wanted to make a movie that was not the typical Christian movie, but it felt like they were trying too hard to go the other way.

I read an article about the movie that seemed to explain my feelings about the movie pretty well when it said,
But more importantly, in a movie that's supposed to depict an authentic walk of faith, it just doesn't feel real. From what I've witnessed—in the Bible, in my own life, and in the lives of those around me—an encounter with God elicits a desire to share the good news, not to say sorry for it. This is something Miller himself seems to understand, or at least he did, at one point. Blue Like Jazz the book does not end with an apology. It ends with an exhortation. "I want you to know Jesus too," Miller writes. That's what knowing Jesus does—it makes you want other people to know him, as well. It's a truth as old as the Bible itself, but it's entirely absent from Blue Like Jazz the movie. Instead of "I want you to know Jesus," we hear, "I want you to apologize for Jesus." It's a message that Hollywood itself could have delivered.

Every once in a while, I felt like the tone of the book came through, but not very often.  And, honestly, I'd have to reread the book to be sure, which I'm planning on doing because I want to be reminded of why I liked the book even if I hated the movie.

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