Blue Like Jazz

1 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Blue Like Jazz

College is rough period of transition regardless of your background and upbringing; for Donald Miller (True Blood’s Marshall Allman), being a Texas transplant and dedicated Christian at a liberaler-than-thou Pacific Northwestern university amplifies that sense of adjustment hundredfold. The longer this transfer student hangs out with outré campus characters (militant lesbians! anticorporate activists! a dude named the Pope who, like, is an atheist!) and is exposed to new ways of thinking, the more he finds himself drifting from his faith. Based on specific sections of the real-life Miller’s popular 2003 memoir, this coming-of-age flick would be piss-poorly made even without the whither-God? aspects; the fact that the author’s searching, if achingly posthip, proselytizing is given the same belabored, graceless treatment as the film’s generic collegiate high jinks only sours the deal further. The movie adaptation’s version of religion may be more nuanced than the usual Left Behind fire-and-brimstone sermonizing you find in much contemporary pro-Christian cinema, but it still leaves behind a sulfuric stink.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

By: David Fear


Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday April 13 2012
Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
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  • 3 star:0
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  • 1 star:0
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Christopher Lake, N. Roberts isn't bashing the Catholic Church's Pope at the end of his comment: he's taking a potshot at the reviewer through one of this film's zaniest characters, a self-appointed "Pope" who literally engaged in public book-burning of any books with which he didn't agree. Roberts' comment that "The Pope" character in this film could just as well have written this review appears to have been intended as a zinger at the reviewer (Mr. David Fear), not at the currently-sitting Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Look, it's not the best film that I've ever seen. But it is far and away the best sort of cinematic attempt I've seen at attempting to approach Christianity from a nuanced perspective. I think this reviewer should see the film again: Don has already drifted from his faith by the time he reaches Reed. In fact, his experiences with liberal friends bring him to a more authentic (if more ambiguous) place of exploration. I feel like Mr. Fear simply saw the film he expected to see rather than the one before him; this sounds like a review that The Pope would have written while chucking books into a bonfire.

A funny, thought provoking coming-of-age and -faith story that has, until now, been portrayed on film.