Last night we went to see the movie “God’s Not Dead”.
Yes it is B+ quality. It is predictable. It is cliche. The debate scenes were not sophomoric, nor were they spectacularly nuanced or overtly clever. There were some gotcha lines that even though you could see them coming were effective and drew some applause in the theatre. In some cases it is over acted. It is pop culture churchianity friendly. But doggonit it was not half bad. In fact, it was pretty darn good in my opinion.
One could spend time showcasing spiritual knowledge superioritry, poking holes in the plot line or the acting, or if you are like me, lamenting two things in particular….the goofy appearance of one of the Duck Dynasty guys, and the call at the end of the movie for everyone to, like one of those email chain letters, text “God’s not dead” to everyone in their address book. And I wanted to. I wanted to lump it with Kendrick Bros movies and blast it. But I can’t. Just because something is simple doesnt make it another Fireproof.
In fact the movie has some raw gender truth in it. The protagonist, a young male college freshman, must choose between an easy A, for declaring God is dead in his philosophy class, or, ultimately because of the ire of the professor, risk not getting into law school. His girlfriend, a relationship formed by “the collision of their youth groups” declares that every decision he makes is about THEM, and his playing with fire about law school acceptance (which she will attend along with him) is not to be risked with the folly of him debating a philosophy professor. She demands he sign the God is dead paper and move on.
He doesn’t sign it. She moves on. I liked the way they portrayed it. Well, I liked THAT they portrayed it period.
There were some episodic outbreaks of excellent acting. When one of the secondary but main-ish characters is alone digesting her cancer diagnosis her acting, in anguish, was exceptional. Not an easy scene to pull off. However, the other acting bookend was Dean Dain, who is ubiquitous on the Christian cable stations low budget productions. I cannot believe he once played Superman in a relatively popular series take on that character.
I found no ingredients in the movie that would be contra-indicated with red pill medicating. For what it’s worth, aside from the pop Christian culture stuff, which wasn’t overwhelming, it was a good movie for Christians. I doubt it changes the world. But it was a pretty solid feel good movie, safe, clean and inoffensive.