Blue Like Jazz is a film directed by Steve Taylor that is based on a bestselling book. I was very excited to watch this due to the fact that a lot of the film was filmed in my hometown, Nashville. Blue Like Jazz is a rather religious film that really challenges your typical religious film views by raising a lot of ‘what if’ questions about faith. The film follows nineteen-year-old Donald Miller (Marshall Allman), who lives in Texas under a sub-culture of a very strict Baptist community. Donald is finishing up his last year at junior college and is ready to pursue an education at a very prestigious Baptist school. His whole world is changed when realizations are brought into his life about his church and family that persuade him to attend Reed College, thanks to some strings his father pulled. Reed College, being one of the most progressive schools in the nation, shock Donald’s world giving him new light on life and his real meaning. He endulges in things he never thought right, meets people he wouldn’t usually associate with which takes him on a very powerful journey of self-meaning.
Blue Like Jazz has is filled with unknown actors and actresses, but some put in some performances so I wouldn’t be surprised if you see them on the big screen again soon. Marshall Allman, who plays Donald has had some minor roles in TV shows such as True Blood and Prison Break. Tania Raymonde, who plays Donald’s lesbian friend Lauryn, has been known for her small role on Lost. Some other main characters in this film are rather unknown to the usual eye, but still give a very convincing performance.
While a solid telling of an interesting story, and it could have been a lot better. I truly enjoyed the story and the plot of the film, but it dragged at times. I don’t think that most of the characters were convincing and the plot was confusing at points. The first 45 minutes of the film were absolutely too slow. With that being said, if you get through all of this there is a very moving message within this movie. This movie really pushes religious buttons, and it does so in a way that you stay intrigued of what might happen next in this young man’s journey. I truly enjoyed this film and the tale that was very atypical. While it was about man and his faith, it didn’t go overboard and treat religion as a joke. If you can get pass some of the rather unconvincing acting, then there really is a true and genuine film at the core.
Overall, Blue Like Jazz is a very good spirtual journey that will challenge your beliefs and make you a true believer of who you are what you believe in.