Hilary had not read the book, so had no idea what to expect. I read the book almost 4 years ago, so I was going in with pretty fresh eyes...although I knew some of what was coming.
As Christian movies go, this was my favorite I've seen. It was real, even, for Don, to the point of embarrassment. Don opened his life in the book and I think to some degree, even more so with the film. His story of finding faith, losing faith and rediscovering faith is the heartbeat of the narrative many young adults in our country are living. Our churches have left a fake, nasty taste of (not)Jesus in their mouths. This (not)Jesus has driven many away from the true Christ and has engendered anti-God; anti-Jesus and most definitely anti-Christian attitudes from the larger culture we find ourselves in.
I hear many Christians excuse this hatred with Scripture and a "Superior" attitude saying something like: "We will be hated, just like Jesus was hated...the Bible says so...". However, they neglect to read WHO was mad at Jesus and do not discuss WHY they were hating on Jesus. The majority of those who hate Jesus were part of the religious ELITE. The sick, the sinnners and the desperate were not the haters of Jesus (for the most part), in fact they SOUGHT Jesus out. Today, the religious are in love with the religious and the "pagan" is running from Church because of these religious Zealots.
This movie (and the book) takes the religious spirit to lunch, offends it, points out its flaws, shows its lack of the true Jesus, then it drops it off at the front door of its own cathedral of religion.
I know many church-goers will not be happy with this movie, and to be CLEAR it is not a family film, however the message is great, powerful and worth seeing if you are High School and above. I am excited to hang with some college students, watch the film and discuss it!!