Earlier this year I was blessed with the opportunity to co-star in the film “To Save a Life.” It turned out to be one of the most successful faith-based films of all time. Aimed squarely at teenagers facing seemingly insurmountable problems, the movie’s most poignant message ultimately dealt with suicide and the value of each individual life.
Attending premiers for the film I realized that, as an actor, for the first time I’d played a role in a film that amounted to more than merely a paycheck. Girls and young men would leave the theater crying, declaring a renewed outlook on life. Peace on earth, good will toward men, all that jazz.
The Hollywood elitists hated it. Surprisingly in most of the nasty reviews, the arrogant critics praised the film for its high-production quality and more than capable cast. What they had a problem with…was its Christian message.
For those of you who haven't seen the film, here's a short summary: After the suicide of his former best friend, protagonist Jake Taylor finds himself disgusted with the way he’s treated others, and the way he’s lived his life. Approached by a youth pastor, Jake ends up giving his life over to God, dedicating himself to becoming a better person and ultimately, saving the life of somebody else.
Quick! Hide the children, this kind of smut will rot their brains.
In fact, look at what some of the critics said:
"It does a disservice to the many real, honestly troubled teens out there looking for a lifeline." – NPR
"The film would be a mere nuisance if not for its shameless exploitation of school shootings to advance its agenda.… But forget the lame performances and arch, preachy sentiment; the movie’s sham hip-hop and spurious alternative music alone should keep teenagers away. Thank goodness."– The New York Times
Let’s contrast that to the letters that still flood my Inbox from teenagers every day"
"Saw it last night. It was a great movie! Felt touched and moved to be more than mediocre!"
"Just saw 'To Save a Life' and know that there are some people I can convince that their life is worth living!"
"I just watched it last night & I am a better man because of it."
"I cried so hard when I watched the movie. I am still crying and it's 1:14am! I am going to change my ways like Jake did and I will NEVER ignore another kid at my high school!"
Seems to me that this “preachy nuisance” of a film has not only bettered a lot of people’s lives, but maybe (as the title suggests) even saved a few.
So, why the hatred?
There’s really only one answer. The movie’s message of salvation is decidedly Christian. In the film, the main character, Jake, turns his life around through his relationship with God. Not only God, but the worst kind of God as Tinseltown would see it… the evil, Judeo-Christian God. – Cue the dramatic chipmunk –
You see, See, Jesus to liberals is like the squat-rack to metrosexual gymrats; they avoid it like the plague. They hate it, because it’s a lot of work. Whether you see Jesus as nothing more than a mythical figure or not, there’s no doubt that living your life in a Christ-like manner is a lot harder than the hedonistic lifestyle reflected in Hollywood.
Preaching Christian salvation is to preach moral absolutes.
Hollywood no likey.
It seems that the snobs at The New York Times would rather see more teens go ahead and off themselves than find salvation through the Christian faith (imaginary or not). One has to wonder if the reviews would have been more glowing had Jake found his salvation through medical marijuana, the newest hip detox center, or by simply “believing in himself.”
I’ll be the first to admit that "To Save a Life" can border on corny at times, and there are some elements that could definitely use a little tweaking, but one thing’s for sure: this film has touched the lives of a lot of people, and if the folks at The New York Times had their way, there would be many more depressed, unreached teenagers out there dying today.
Here's one more final quote from The Times' review "…the movie’s sham hip-hop and spurious alternative music alone should keep teenagers away. Thank goodness."– The New York Times
Yeah…wouldn’t that be great?
Steven Crowder is a writer, actor, comedian and Fox News contributor.
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