Thursday, May 2, 2013

Loving The Bad Man

Julie (Christine Kelly) is a young, conservative Christian who is very zealous living out her faith. When a flat tire causes her to have to go into a very rough bar to use the phone [no cell signal], the bartender suggests a customer, Mike (Arturo Fernandez --now Arturo Rossi), may be able to help. The very drunk and angry mechanic changes Julie’s tire but then forces himself on her. Julie is able to identify him & he is quickly apprehended and sentenced to prison. Her family is ready to put this all behind them until it is discovered Julie is pregnant. They urge her to abort, but Julie refuses to even consider it. Realizing that she must forgive this rapist, she takes matters even further by visiting him in prison and forging an unlikely friendship.

Loving the Bad Man was mostly advertised as a Stephen Baldwin film. He was indeed in it...I'm just not sure why. I never did figure out the prison politics and gangs angle, although it was shown a lot and Baldwin's character was crucial to the ending of the movie. One of the prisoners, Cecil (George Smith) was a wiser, older gentleman whose character really reminded me of the role Morgan Freeman played in The Shawshank Redemption. [Another actor I found more compelling to watch was "Manny" ~ Pedro Moreno] To be fair, I have no prison experience, so they may have been showing an honest portrayal of inmates.

Even more disturbing to me was Julie's family! The brother was a DJ at a local radio show (yet I could barely understand a word he said), and I never quite understood his character. He stayed pretty happy, esp for one with those parents. The mom would go into hysterics at lightning speed and certainly was not the anchor of the family. The dad! Frankly, he scared me more than the rapist! With the way he would fly off the handle, it was easy to understand why the rest of the family seemed more than a bit dysfunctional.

The theme of the movie was great. The Bible certainly instructs us to show forgiveness. There were also instances of redemption, laying down your life for another, kindness, reaching out to others. Oh, and the was okay. I would probably listen to it now & then, but it was played too loud over the scenes and the words were so well suited to the action that it became a bit funny to me. Obviously, the person who selected the music was very involved with the film and I know I should be much more favorably impressed.

           *************************SPOILER ALERT*************************

The ending even made it appear that the family was being restored...yet I noticed the brother and Julie's friend/potential boyfriend were both conspicuously absent from the fun family photos. Perhaps they were at work, or on a mission trip, or even the photographers, but it seemed more likely that they escaped from the family.


Anonymous said...

This movie is one of the better Christian films, even though I would not recommend it for someone under 16-18 years. I really grew to enjoy the characters, minus the dad. I wish Julie and Mike could have gotten together in the end, as I wasn't too fond of the boyfriend/friend character. But a great film and worthy to see!

Cindy Navarro said...

I'm glad you liked it. I don't think any film is going to appeal to everyone, but this one struck a chord with you. I appreciate your insights since this may be exactly the film others would want to see.