Thursday, July 5, 2007
"Worst Miscalculation This Side of Ishtar"
A JP Catholic student recently forwarded this very interesting article about the failure of Evan Almighty in connecting with Christian audiences. Though I haven't seen the movie yet, the author seems to have exaggerated a few points ("worst miscalculation since Ishtar" is a pretty bold assertion). Still, his thesis rings true:
"The inability of Evan Almighty to connect with the faith-based audience is deeper and goes to the choices made by the studio, the director and the writers as well as the systemic problems with the way Hollywood has always done business and seems resistant to changing. The notion that millions of conservative Christians (a large majority of whom are also politically conservative) were going to flock to a movie that depicted obviously conservative political leaders as corrupt politicians going against the will of both a modern day Noah and God himself by trying to ruin the environment by opening up government-owned land for development, is nothing short of madness. It's one of the worst cinematic miscalculations this side of Ishtar....
"Despite the bomb that was Evan Almighty, millions of devout Americans are still waiting to be invited into a theater to see a film that is entertaining, affirms their values and doesn't trivialize their deeply held religious beliefs. If Hollywood continues to create films like Evan Almighty, millions of traditionalists may grow to rue the day when Hollywood, with dollar signs in its eyes, began courting them with wilted flowers and stale chocolate.Mixing religion and entertainment has been long avoided for a reason: It's difficult to do well. But if the result of this grand new experiment is films that are neither faithful nor funny, millions of traditionalists will likely find less expensive ways to be entertained and inspired."
I've already written here about Fox's inability to attract Christians with its insipid "faith" label because of similar miscalculations. One would think the prospect of loads of cash would motivate them to open their eyes and study Christians objectively.