Everyone’s Favorite Cautionary Whale

Ryan and I watched Juno again for the first time in a few years (thank you Wal-Mart $5 bin!). Apparently I’ve changed quite a bit since we watched it last because it occurred to me how crass the movie could be.  Nonetheless, I laughed just as heartily. Juno is one of our favorite movies for a number of reasons, including the positive, not-beating-you-over-the-head, pro-life message it espouses. Being pro-life, as we are, we grow tired of constantly being portrayed negatively in the media.   Don’t worry though. This post isn’t about abortion. It’s about good movies!

So often positive pro-life movies are…cheesy. They are low-budget productions made by small Christian churches or organizations that just don’t have the money or talent to really make a quality motion picture. Often it seems the intention is to splatter an agenda across the screen for 96 minutes rather than tell a good story through the art of film-making. While Juno has that indy film vibe, it’s still a good movie. It has known actors who can, well, act. It is professionally directed and produced. It follows the form for good story telling and on and on. It’s a *real* movie depicting a pro-life message. It’s a relief to find a movie that’s enjoyable on it’s own merit as a film AND approximates a moral message. As opposed to a morally themed movie you have to convince yourself is also enjoyable to watch.

Bella is another example of a film with artful storytelling, skillful production and good messages (despite a small budget 😉 ). Similar to Juno in it’s single-girl-wants-abortion-but-chooses-adoption-instead theme, Bella does incorporates Christianity into it’s character’s lives and motivations. But still not in a beat you over the head kind of way.  The main character, Jose, shows his love and compassion towards life not by a moving soliloquy meant to guilt the audience into a change of heart but by the way he acts towards the character Nina and by the choices he makes. Bella is also an especially beautiful movie to watch. Filmed near a beach, the movie incorporates the clear ocean, blue skies, pale sands and balmy breezes into it’s backdrop as though the director was concerned with making a visual story not just a soap-box of sound bites.

We always enjoy a movie that doesn’t make us feel cheap or used at the end of watching, something we don’t have to look away from or let out sighs of disgust. If we can watch a movie that says something good about the world, or something positive about mankind–even if we may not agree with the side the movie ultimately portrays–we’re bound to keep coming back to it. As evidenced by our annual viewing of the entire Harry Potter series! Do you have a favorite movie that is a quality film AND positive to watch?

*Warning, Bella, will make you cry. Juno will too, but not as long or as hard as Bella will*

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