For all of the negative comments made in the press about the violence or negativity or lack of depth in films, we love to discover and recognize those which have more to offer, especially near that intersection of faith and life.
“To Save a Life” is on such positive contribution, opening today. Take your teens, or send your teens. This is a great one for the young–and the young at heart! We can all relate to a story about the adolescent years, and this is a mature and enjoyable take on a serious subject. It’s inspiring, relevant and real. It’s got a message, but isn’t preachy.
The serious theme of the movie involves Jake Taylor (played by “The Dukes of Hazzard’s” Randy Wayne) as the guy who has it all and Roger Dawson (Robert Bailey, Jr., from “The Happening”) as the former friend who is really down on his luck and deep down in the dumps. Jake tries to reach out to him, but his efforts end up being too little too late and he’s haunted by the question of whether he should have done more.
Such a theme can sometimes be enough not to go see a film. I myself would probably opt for Lethal Weapon 5 or Star Wars VII. But making it to the end was more than worth it. It was worth the challenge of “To Save A Life’s” questions and the inspiration that came from its denouement.
I believe there are a lot of Jake Taylors in each of our communities, schools, churches and workplaces. There are probably some Roger Dawsons in the making. The challenges Jake faces and the lessons he learns go well beyond the age range of the main characters. I know a few Jakes–and some Jakes in the making–but in my church, my club and in my neighborhood, I think most everyone falls in that category somewhere between Roger and Jake. Their lives aren’t totally falling apart, but they’re not needy or courageous enough to be a hero to those who would need them. I know all of us want to make a difference, but overcoming the pressure and perceptions of our peer group can be the biggest challenge of all.
And often times, a fatal one if true courage to act is the ultimate goal.