Steve Taylor‘s Blue Like Jazz (2012) is based on a memoir by Donald Miller. In it, an evangelical kid—Miller—is so stunned by his Christian mother’s having an affair with a youth pastor that he flees to the Portland, Oregon liberal-arts college his pagan father has enrolled him in. The student body there is eaten up with leftism and tends to glorify sex and drinking, with the result that young Donald happily dismisses conservative evangelical belief. What we end up with is a basically Christian film, but one which expects Joe Christian (in this case, Don) to duly apologize to the world for the shabby conduct of the devout. This includes everything from the Crusades to “U.S. foreign policy.”
Nice try, Steve Taylor, but no cigar.
True, the film is reasonably intelligent, but not without many flaws. It seems to consider the Southern Baptist denomination a “strange church” (i.e., not liberal). The action of the story is rather forced, the characters are scantily drawn and, to me, Marshall Allman (Don) is not a very likable actor.
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