Saturday, May 29, 2004

Raising Helen Review Posted by Hello

Jasper Speaks:

So this flick is not getting such great reviews from the critics. I did hear Joel Siegel praise it on the Today show this week. Yahoo movies average grade was a C-. But I have come to expect that from the media. They crave the wild and unusual. They praise the disturbing. They commend the offbeat. If you been reading my blog for any amount of time you will remember my rant about Lost In Translation. The media just embraces weird stuff most of the time.

But enough about them. Let's hash out this movie. I liked it. I laughed out loud several times. It had it's heart strings pulling moments. It is odd to me that it is PG-13 as it is very clean. There is only one scene of implied sex and about five cuss words.

The story is one we have seen in some form before. A sister dies and leaves her children to an ill-equipped sibling. But the aspect of this movie that got me into the theater tonight was the love story. You see in this movie the love interest is a nice looking young Lutheran Pastor. I have seen Hollywood screw this set-up over before so I was interested in seeing how they handled it this time. The buzz I had heard was that it was generally a positive portrayal of a member of the clergy. After enduring movie after movie where the clergy is evil, immoral or stupid, I was hoping Raising Helen would raise the bar.

I believe it did. This was far from a perfect movie but John Corbet's character, Pastor Dan, was human. He was somewhat one dimensional. But unlike many recent movies, the one dimension was positive. He was a confident man. He was funny without being dumb. Never did the movie put him in a compromising situation. He was quite possibly the most stable character in the entire film. What a switch!

Now being on the "inside" as a Pastor, there were minor things that didn't jive so well. He dated her when she had absolutely no regard for godly living that was evident. She couldn't even really identify her denomination and they started getting serious. They kissed way too soon. It was on their first "date". They went out that one time and called himself (in jest) a sexy man of God to her. There was no development of his Christian leadership roles. But all in all, they got it right. I appreciate the fact that they even attempted to make him a "normal" guy. There were many moments where I found myself cringing as saying, "Don't cross the line. Don't cross the line". They didn't and I respect the filmmakers for that.

Is this the best movie I have seen this year. Probably not. But I think it is well worth your time if for nothing else than to support a film that doesn't make a mockery out of God and those called to do his service.

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