It strikes a chord of nostalgia within me when I drive by a location that once was a popular drive-in theater. The large movie screen is long gone; the rows of car-window speakers sitting on metal pipes have been removed leaving no evidence of their previous place of importance; and the snack shack where crowds of movie-goers would buy popcorn and sodas are simply gone. Many of these outdoor movie lots had a second life as weekend flea markets. Now even most of those are a thing of the past.
Going to the movies was always a treat. As a result, I never developed the habit of attending frequently. Even today when I go to see a movie it is fun!
Ever since the advent of the motion picture ratings system back in the late 1960s, it has become more difficult to determine if the movie being rated is something I should see. I knew as soon as they came out with the R rating that there would be content that was not appropriate for me to view if I was to maintain a sense of moral purity. As a new Christian and having just returned from Vietnam I had not figured out many of the spiritual pitfalls that lay in my path. In the space of a couple of months I went with friends to see “Last Tango in Paris” and “Deliverance.” I was repulsed by these two films, and as a result I steered away from movies all together. Since then I make sure I know what the movie is about, and I rely on reviews, particularly from those I trust who have seen it.
Most movies are not worth the time and money to see. But every so often a movie comes out that is family-friendly. The number 1 box-office hit right now is a movie entitled “War Room.” I had seen previews and was intrigued. My wife had read about it and suggested we go. It is produced by the Kendrick Brothers who also produced another block-buster movie a few years ago, “Fireproof.” These guys are strong in their Christian faith and their movies carry that message.
“War Room,” despite its title, is a family movie, rated PG. In fact, my oldest daughter, Laura, asked me if it would be appropriate to take her daughter to see it. I did a quick review of the film in my mind and quickly concluded that it was very much a movie that my seven-going-on-eight year old granddaughter would truly enjoy. One reason is there is a young girl in the film who is about that age which Alyssa could easily identify with.
The story in this film focuses on a husband and wife that are enjoying the successes of climbing the ladder and benefiting from an ever increasing bank account. However, all is not going well for this couple, and the effects are having a direct impact on their young daughter. An older neighbor lady, whom everyone calls “Miss Clara,” sees an opportunity to befriend her younger neighbor. From her own Christian experience she is able to share how prayer and faith can transform the heart of not only her husband, but their child and the wife and mother herself.
There are numerous twists and turns throughout, leaving you wondering how each situation will be worked out. Even though the couple is headed for divorce, causing the subject matter of the movie to be a bit heavy, the producers have managed to insert a level of humor in order to lighten things up from time-to-time. It is masterfully done so that the humor is a respite from the heaviness of the subject without minimalizing the importance of what needs to take place.
Isaura and I saw the film last Thursday night and absolutely loved it. It is biblically based without being preachy. God’s name and the name of Jesus are referenced without being “in-your-face.”
The actress who plays the wife and mother is the daughter of evangelist and preacher, Tony Evans. I’m told this is her first acting role. If this is so, then she is a natural. Did I mention that you should bring lots of tissues and handkerchiefs?
I am still somewhat stunned that this film has topped the box office. There are no gratuitous sex scenes, no vulgar language or profanity, and no unnecessary violence. The characters are very real and very believable.
But most importantly: If your marriage is on shaky ground, or someone you know is having trouble in their marriage, then you must see War Room. There is hope!
Go see “War Room”! And you’ll absolutely fall in love with Miss Clara!