(Update: USA Today just published this great account of how the movie got made.)
Blue Like Jazz, a movie based on the bestselling book by Don Miller, opens this Friday. I was lucky to catch an advanced screening in Raleigh a few weeks ago because, unbelievably, I had invested in it. If you don't know the story: BLJ nearly died in production, short on money. Some guys started a kickstarter campaign that raised like $300,000 or something crazy. A few of my dollars helped. You gotta understand: I don't ever donate to stuff like this, which says something about how much (a) the movie means to me and (b) how much I believe in it.
So I expected it to be good.
I don't know if I expected it to be as good as it is.
It's almost like a Christian version of "The Hangover," if such a thing could exist. That's probably overselling it a little—but not a lot. It's entertaining, it's hilarious, and now that I'm saying such nice things about it you're going to go in there with expectations too high and think it sucks. Crap. This is why I do journalism and don't review movies. I ruin them for people.
Seriously though—BLJ is maybe the most honest portrayal of what a Christian college kid goes through I've ever seen. It has the potential to resonate with people—young and old, Christian and otherwise—more than any other "Christian" movie ever has.
It's not family friendly. This is not Fireproof. Blue Like Jazz is rated PG-13, and yeah, it earns it.
But that's because