Story vs. Message
A little movie came out recently called Courageous. I haven’t seen it, but it’s done by the same church that put out Fireproof and Facing the Giants. I have seen both of those and they’re not horrible. It’s basically like someone filmed a community theater production on a pretty high budget. The acting in the movies I’ve seen is uneven at best, as is the writing. It seems that for a lot of Christians, enough to enable them to continue putting these movies out, it’s better to have a “good message” that feels likes “a [very long] sermon” than it is to have a well written story where the message may be a little less in your face.
For me though, I really want something more. I really don’t have a problem with movies, music, or books that deal intelligently with themes or struggles inherent in the Christian faith. If you’re going to put something out there that is really out there with the gospel message (whatever you think that is) then by all means, do it. All I ask is that you put a lot more effort in the production/writing/acting/etc. than you think you need to. Everything you do in that vein is going to be judged, more than that scrutinized, and not just by “the world”.
If you’re going to make a movie like this, it really needs to feel like something more than a direct to video effort. Make something that I don’t feel reluctant to watch or that I feel I have to apologize for. That really shouldn’t be that hard. It’s really all I ask of any book, movie, or song, regardless of its message. The created thing needs to be good on its own and only then will the message have any meaning beyond the “choir”.
That’s my two cents anyway. Let me ask you, is message or story more important and why?