The Movie “Same Kind of Different as Me” is good. I mean good as in better, and I mean better as in better than 99% of Christian movie making efforts. There were A list or used-to-be A list actors in it like Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, and the always reliable Jon Voight, whose drunk slurring in the movie was just shy of outstanding. As a cause or by effect, good production quality surrounded the solid troupe of thespians. These two things alone set the movie apart from the usually sad best efforts of Christian movie makers.
But they had to go ahead and do that thing they do when they make everyday be father’s day by showing how the wife manages to rehabilitate the deeply flawed husband, how he CAN be good, and how he has what it takes but needs just the right admonishment. His sin is revealed early. He is obsessed with work and with money. And he has a mistress.
Once confronted, he asks his wife what is to be done about the fact that they hadn’t been intimate in two years. The wife then screams over his voice that they had not really been intimate in ten years!!!! She means they haven’t walked out their faith as if it was just her faith. because her faith is the only real faith in the house. Her heart has not been the arbiter of their faith walk. Her heart must be the barometer of faith in the home.
So, he gets to choose. He can have the mistress or this wife. He chooses the wife, and she hands him a pile of clean folded sheets for the couch.
The next day the wife tricks him into serving at the homeless shelter and kitchen where she had been (selflessly)
seeking empathogasms serving for some time.
Then she tells him about her dream. Christian women and their dreams are a sub category in Christian female initiated divorce causes. The slice of pie is more than a sliver. I suspect its more like a slab-o-pie if it could be fully revealed. On one hand I’ve known men defending themselves against affair allegations with nothing but a dream as the wife’s basis for accusations. On the other I’ve known men in competition against a paramour that literally did not exist except as a creation in the wife’s mind. She imagined the ideal man and he is manifest only in her dreams. But that’s enough to juxtapose against her actual flesh and blood husband. Husband doesn’t measure up.
The husband in the movie takes some personal risk and befriends an overly aggressive homeless man. I liked this part of the movie because it was separate enough that it could be insulated against the manipulative wife’s machinations. It was an extreme sort of city- mouse-and-country-mouse-become-buds tale. The homeless man had a cliche but moving back story.
Eventually the peace is shattered. When the story of the man’s redemption was steeped for too long in only the man’s own choices and experiences the movie makers clearly worried that they risked the audience missing the central point unless they hastily resurrected it. They feared the audience would forget that the source of the man’s
salvation inspiration was the wife. They saw more carrot than stick. More stick was needed. So they insert another scene at bedtime where hubby again pleasantly accepts the sheets for the couch where he would sleep. (Never mind that they live in what they say is a 15,000 square foot home, the man chooses a sofa in what appears to be a sort of anteroom outside the master bedroom.).
Once the husband has undertaken some physical risk, eschewed money and hard work, sufficiently chastised his alcoholic father, and started to follow his soothsayer wife’s dream fully, she gets the remnant of a tingle due to hubby’s devil-may-care attitude in facing down danger. That he did so was punctuated by the windows in his G wagon which were smashed by the homeless man using a baseball bat. Hubby let the sheets drop to the floor and the wife unbuttoned his shirt while cooing.
He was back in. For a minute.
I left the room before the end. My understanding is that the wife dies of cancer and the husband writes the book that becomes the movie. I mean no disrespect to the wife or her family and do not wish to be insensitive to the loss of life to cancer. My goal is to magnify the again formulaic woman as the lever for sanctification of man theme. Nothing more.