I don’t normally review movies and not sure that I want to go there, but this movie struck a chord with me, especially based on some of the recent conversations I’ve had with some folks…more on that in a minute.
Me & You, Us, Forever is a film made by the Christiano brothers. Prior to this movie, I didn’t really know “who” they were. After doing a little research before writing this, I found a website and discovered that they’ve made a whole handful of films, one of which I liked…and I wanted to like this one…
Me & You, Us, Forever is about a divorced man who pines for a long lost high school sweetheart. He chalks her up at the best thing to ever happen to him and is determined to meet her again after 25 years. He meets a divorced lady-friend at a divorcee-recovery class and the two become friends.
MYUF suffers from what I would call the classic sappy Christian entertainment issue. The technical aspect of the filmmaking is actually pretty good. I’m sure someone with a more highly trained technical eye could point out some things, but it had pretty good camera movement and most of the shots seem pretty good.
The script, however, needed a lot of revision. I think this is part of the problem when one person does the entire shebang…just too close to it. The first 45 minutes could have (and should have) been condensed to about 10-15 minutes. It got to be so sappy I was laughing at it—and that was not what I should have been doing. The main character breaks into flashback every 3-4 minutes and it gets very annoying. In fact, his obsession with his old high school love borders on a little bit scary and creepy.
Then, when the guy finally goes to see her, she doesn’t act surprised in the least little bit. It didn’t come off as realistic. In fact, several of the actors seemed to be reciting lines rather than playing parts. They may be fine actors, and it would be interesting to see what they could do with a better script…alas, they didn’t have it to work with here.
The message behind the film is a good one: divorcees having a difficult time recovering and how they should let God take control. Good message, but poor delivery.
And that brings me to the “conversations” I mentioned above. In general, Christian entertainment has the huge “sappy” hurdle to overcome. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen Christian music grow by leaps and bounds and believers can find just about any flavor song out there—and good ones, too. In the last few years, Christian films like Facing the Giants, One Night With the King, Left Behind and Fireproof, have really stepped up a notch. The Mormons have been getting it right for a few years, too.
Writing and, of course, comic books—obviously my interests—still have a way to go. My primary issue with most Christian comics is either that they are poorly written or poorly illustrated. This is not a slam at the creators—some of whom I’ve met—they have the best of intentions. I’m just not convinced writing or art is where their ministry should be. The problem then becomes, when the work is put side by side with like secular material, it just doesn’t hold up. And then some of the Christian creators I’ve talked to don’t want to do “Christian” work either because they’re afraid of the label or they don’t want to be lumped with the other material. Often, they opt to call it “family friendly” instead.
What I am encouraged about, however, is the fact that all the entertainment fields I mentioned: film, books and comics, actually seem to be working hard to improve not just the quantity, but the quality. This, I think, is a good thing.