Today I had an opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Blue Like Jazz. Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, Marshall Allman and others were there for a Q & A. What a wonderful privilege. I’ve heard Donald speak twice at Orange and as a result, I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years last fall. It was probably one of the best books I read last year. I’m only half way through Blue Like Jazz right now. I wrote more than a year ago about how KickStarter was used to get this movie funded, which is an incredible story of it’s own.

So, last week I got an invite to attend the screening and I made arrangements for Sara and I to get a little date and see the movie. So, what did I think?

Amazing! Wonderful. Superb! This was a movie that needed to be made. There is a message in this story that needed to be told. It wasn’t preachy or irrelevant. I feel that I could take anyone who is far from faith to this movie and they would enjoy it and the story, or at least parts of the story would resonate with them. It’s entertaining, heart-warming and touching. What a great film.

Don’t get me wrong though. It’s not a perfect film. I’m not going to say this is the best movie I’ve ever seen or anything like that. It had it’s issues. Two characters had very irritating accents that came across contrived. Although the early part of the movie was HILARIOUS, it seemed a bit over-the-top… reminded me of the Christian satirical film “Saved.” But the film drew me in and when it was over, I was very satisfied. What a great experience… leaving plenty of room for great conversations.

So, who is going to see this movie? People who read the book, for sure. I think the trailer is engaging enough that many people will go see it out of curiosity… it looks like the kind of movie people would enjoy. I think it’s a great movie for high school and college students to go see. It tackles many of the issues they will or are experiencing in their phase of life.

So, who isn’t going to like this movie? Unfortunately, a lot of Christians are going to hate it. I expect that it will get some scathing reviews because it’s not like any other “Christian” movie out there. It has language, drug references, inappropriate material and all kinds of other sinful content… and we all know that Christian movies aren’t supposed to have any of that stuff in it. I’m already writing my next post in my head about this, but you’ll have to read that tomorrow.

So, here’s how I’ll leave you. Go see this movie.

Go see this movie on Friday, April 13th. Go see it again on April 14th. Make a date night of it. Organize the biggest group of friends you can plan to go to dinner and go see this film. Order group tickets and take your student ministry.

Why? Well, this movie is opening in 25 cities on April 13. Hollywood doesn’t care about this movie or movies like this. They care about the bottom line, how much money is it making. If theaters sell out this weekend, it will open in additional cities the following week and expand again the following week. Again, they’re motivated by money and if it makes money, they’ll put it in additional cities to make more money. If it doesn’t do very well, it won’t spread to additional cities and will likely remain in the theaters for a week, maybe two. More movies that tell great stories that point to Jesus need to be made and helping them be successful ensures that they will continue to be made. I’m not encouraging you to go spend $20 to so see two hours of crap because it has a great message. It’s good, you’ll enjoy it, but don’t wait to see it on DVD or another week, put it on your calendar and make it happen.

Check out the movie’s page here.