Marriage in the Movies

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Releasing nationwide on September 26, 2014, The Song has a hard-hitting moral message, but it doesn’t sacrifice art or storytelling.

The movie tells the story of aspiring musician Jed King, played by Alan Powell (a member of the Christian band Anthem Lights), who can’t escape from the shadow of his dead father’s musical success. His own music career is going nowhere until he meets Rose Jordan (Ali Faulkner) while playing a gig at her father’s winery in Louisville, Kentucky. What ensues is one of the most pure and touching cinematic romances that I have seen in a long time. It is the consummation of their wedding that inspires Jed (resembling a more handsome, younger version of Joaquin Phoenix ) to write a love song about Rose, which propels him to stardom.
the song poster

The Song is filled with beauty—breathtaking scenery, attractive actors, and a captivating soundtrack that is Mumford & Sons-esque—but it is the voiceover of Jed King quoting from The Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes about the meaning of life that adds another layer of depth and elevates this movie to art.

In a early scene, we hear Jed loosely quote, “What will be, will be again; what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” This is foreshadowing that Jed will make the same mistakes as his father—succumbing to the the trappings of fame: infidelity and drug use.

Watching The Song, the audience knows from the start that Jed will fall, and it is painful to watch. We don’t want him to lose his integrity. We don’t want him to lose Rose—to sacrifice his marriage to carnal pleasure. We hear the voiceover saying, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”

From the first, we know that talented musician Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas) will be his temptress and his downfall. I despise her for throwing herself at Jed, but I also pity her. She tells Jed, “Do what you want—and don’t feel guilty about it.” But Jed cannot escape the guilt and he needs drugs to mask the devastating effects of guilt. The Song singing

The Song successfully portrays the complexity of the sexual relationship between husband and wife. The wife wants to be desired for who she is, but she never wants to be used. She needs to be wooed.

The husband needs to feel wanted. In one scene of the movie where Rose pushed Jed away from her, Jed hollers: “How awful for you to feel desired by your spouse. It’s a terrible thing.” The viewer can easily empathize with both Rose and Jed.

If you can’t tell, I loved this movie. I screened it quite awhile back and I called it a “mini-masterpiece” because it honored the sanctity of marriage without compromising the art. I wondered if I would like it as much when I viewed it again recently. I did.

This is what Christian movie-making should look like. I hope Christian filmmakers are taking notes on why this movie is head and shoulders above most movies in the Christian genre. Written and directed by Richard Ramsey, The Song is his first feature film.

In an  interview, he told ChristianCinema.com, “When real movies work and are successful it’s because, among many other things, they’re descriptive rather than prescriptive, story-driven rather than message-driven, and conversational rather than conversional. … Christian movies are generally the reverse of all that, which is why they don’t and won’t find success outside their core support audience. Whether or not The Song achieves this, audiences will ultimately decide. But, that’s what we tried to do.”

I think that The Song will indeed appeal to any discerning audience because of it’s topnotch script-writing, acting, and musical score. I hope jaded critics will give it the fair chance it deserves.

 

To download four free songs from the movie, visit noisetrade.

 



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8 Comments

  1. Mark-1122662 September 22, 2014 Reply

    Its a great movie for anyone NOT living in fantasyland. Its great that so many people have had such a blessed life where no one ever lied to them, cheated them (or worse yet, cheated on them!) or otherwise committed grave sin against them. But for most of us, we’ve had to learn that true love is a sacrifice. It can be hard. It requires mercy. So what? I am both an optimist and a realist. People fail, people cheat, people lie. So what? We live out the gospel, love them anyway and move forward. I think it does a great job of showing how real people learn to say both “I’m sorry,” as well as “I forgive you.”

    • Alma-953915 September 23, 2014 Reply

      True love never cheats; It’s not living a fantasyland.

      • Lori Hadacek Chaplin September 24, 2014 Reply

        You have to nurture a marriage and guard your heart. There will always be temptations and this is particularly if you spend too much time apart and if you are having difficulties–which every marriage experiences.

  2. Alma-953915 September 22, 2014 Reply

    Well, I don’t think that movies that show marriages will have infidelity really makes people want to get married. So, this is one movie that I won’t be seeing.

    • Lori Hadacek Chaplin September 24, 2014 Reply

      I don’t think that this movie will scare you off marriage. It is a cautionary tale about not putting oneself in a position where you are tempted to cheat. If you are tempted, then you take yourself away from the temptation. I don’t think that he ever stopped loving his wife, and the movie demonstrates this in more than one scene.

  3. BethAnne-168224 September 22, 2014 Reply

    I saw this movie back in July or August as part of a free screening in my area. I thought it was very well done and showed the struggles of marriage/relationships along with the love in them as well.

  4. Tara A. September 22, 2014 Reply

    I’ll look forward to watching this — I agree, we need more quality Christian movies. CatholicMatch should start a movie list… I usually go the USCCB website to check movie reviews and archived recommendations, but would love to see something similar here on CM.

    • Lori C. September 22, 2014 Reply

      Tara, I was thinking about writing just what you mentioned.

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