I read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, several, several years ago. I don’t even remember when. About that time I looked up info on the book and found out there was talk of a feature film. I remember thinking, “How in the world will they make a movie out of this? It’s not even a story.”
When I saw the film available in Redbox this week, I rented it almost immediately. I was curious as to how they converted to movie form this strange but powerful book that, as far as I could remember, was not a drama or a comedy or an action adventure.
But they did, however, and I have to admit that I don’t remember the book at all. All I remember is that I loved the book and it was one of the few books that I let myself scribble all over (I normally don’t write in books). I also remember the drawing of the astronaut caught in space who floated around the world for years and years until his hair grew out and filled his helmet.
I remember it because it freaked me out.
Aside from the fact that I can’t compare the book to the movie, I did enjoy the movie. It showed a Christian who tested his beliefs, cussed and drank occasionally, and had good friends who were atheists and lesbians. I enjoy books or movies that make you think and question and ponder and think some more.
I’ll give “Blue Like Jazz” four and a half stars. Note: the only movies that I’ve ever given five stars are “The Social Network,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “Pride and Prejudice” (the six-hour version).
I was refreshed by this film and how it poked fun at the funny of the Christian world, revealing the puppeteering youth pastor as ridiculous and loosening the strings of the tightly wound protagonist, Don Miller.
The film also handled Don’s friends--Lauryn, who is an outspoken lesbian, and The Pope, who is an atheist--with a graciousness not common to the church, especially church in the south.
I mostly can’t stand preachy films and was worried this one was going to head down that path near its end. However, the open-mindedness of the characters continues until the close and left you in a position to ponder your beliefs along with Don. While it mocks certain aspects of Christianity (aspects, I’d wager, are worthy of mocking) it reverently does not mock Christ.
The only reason it doesn’t get five stars is it lacks some depth and development, but you know a film is good if you want to watch it again and would recommend it to your friends.
This is me recommending it.