Saturday afternoon, Leanne and I went to the movies to see Blue Like Jazz. The movie is based on a book by Donald Miller, and it was directed by Steve Taylor (who I saw in concert when I was in high school). The movie itself was funded primarily through individuals who gave money through Kickstarter. All of this adds up to making Blue Like Jazz very different from most movies made today. BLJ didn’t have the huge marketing and financial budget that most movies have these days. Marketing has been be word of mouth and by the hard work of Miller and Taylor.
I read Blue Like Jazz several years ago. The book, as I remember it, is a collections chaotic thoughts about Miller’s journey from a broken home and fundamental church background through doubt and disillusionment to a rediscovery of God and His love for us.
The movie takes the general stories and themes of the book and weaves them together to retell the story of college student, Don Miller, and his journey to rediscover his faith in God.
BLJ contains many chaotic conversations and scenes. There are many things in the movie that had me scratching my head – ‘is this okay?’. There’s cursing, drinking and drunkenness, discussions about sexuality and sexual orientation, and many other things in this movie that my have you feeling uncomfortable. I would encourage you to hang in there. These things bring clarity to the ending message and discovery. I don’t want to give it away, but the last five minutes of Blue Like Jazz are powerful. You need to see the whole movie though for it to all make sense.
This is not a “Christian” movie. It’s a movie made by Christians. Many Christians may decide not to see it because it’s too secular, and many who are not Christians may decide not to see it because it’s too God focused. Here’s my take: Give it a chance. Go see the movie! You could wait until it comes out on DVD, but I’d highly recommend that you find a theater and go see it. Bring a friend along with you. After the movie, go grab a cup of coffee together, and talk about the movie. It’s different. Blue Like Jazz will definitely have you thinking. It’s not required, but you may want to read the book before you go see the movie. Certain things in the movie will make a little more sense if you’ve read the book – like the rabbit chasing the sexy carrot scene.
Blue Like Jazz gets my recommendation.
Have you seen Blue Like Jazz? If so, what was your take? If not, do you like jazz music?