Daily Archives: March 9, 2007
With trepidation, Jonathan and I sat down to watch “Facing the Giants” on DVD. As I have blogged about at other times, we are both pre-disposed to be suspicious of Christian films because of the overwhelming cheesiness we’ve been exposed to. We were pleasantly surprised.
The good things:
- This is the first Christian movie I have watched and thought “hey, I know these people!” In fact, as the coach and his wife struggled through infertility, Jonathan and I thought “hey, we’ve been these people.” The characters were genuine and natural, and related to one another that way.
- The humor was funny, well-timed, and well performed. It came naturally from the situations in the script and it didn’t feel “Christianized.” It was just natural life humor. We laughed out loud several times.
- During a key scene after the coach changes his team plan to “Praise God when we win, and praise Him when we lose” changes in the student body are attributed to the years of prayer from a quiet man who has walked the hallway and prayed over lockers, not to the coach’s one week of change.
- When the coach shifts his approach to football, it is followed with a more gospel-centered approach to coaching. His toughness comes out of love rather than out of anger. He brings out positive responses from his players by expecting the best from them in order to glorify God, rather than the school, or the coach. He also begins talking about God given ability.
- The film looked and sounded professional. Everything about the production was done with excellence.
The not bad, but not great things:
- At the beginning of the film a group of parents arrange a meeting behind the coach’s back to have him replaced. The administration of the school agrees to the meeting. Never at anytime is the direct violation of Matthew 18 addressed. We were very disappointed with that. While the situation is (unfortunately) common, it could have been addressed within the script as a unbiblical and sinful.
- God’s blessing is depicted as being outwardly successful. Sometimes God’s blessing doesn’t look like blessing in the world’s eyes. I think it would have been a better script if it would have ended with the first game in the play-offs and the locker room lessons that came from that.
So all in all, we would highly recommend the film as long as it is understood (and explained to audiences) that it’s not always God’s plan for us to win. Sometimes His blessing is not the same as our expectations. That doesn’t mean He hasn’t done something good, or awesome.
I think we’ll add this to our DVD collection, and we certainly recommend it as an alternative to “Remember the Titans” and other films of that ilk.