0:00:00 – This is the God the author believes in. You want to dance more than anything? BAM, you’re a cripple. You want to be the most awesome missionary ever? No success. You want to keep your promise to your little sister? BAM, your trial is doubt. He gets some sort of perverse pleasure out of making things as hard as possible. This is not a God who gives talents, this is a God who sees talents and stacks trials specifically designed to crush the individual as much as possible.
0:00:24 – Awkwardly close to my lips there, Elder.
0:00:45 – Apparently being socially awkward and following in the pre-existence means that your challenge is being socially awkward on Earth as well.
0:01:15 – Yes, this is totally the way to contact. Most effective techniques ever.
0:02:06 – Bonus points for pointing out how stupid that question really is.
0:02:22 – Saleswoman reply matches the message. Again, fascinating.
0:02:49 – Kid off of skateboard… kinda like the baseball baptisms. Yeah, nothing wrong with pressuring the missionaries. Yes, it’s for comedy, I get that, but the underlying “Why it is funny” is interesting because missionaries really were so desperate that they really resorted to these kinds of tactics.
0:03:07 – Start singing “Man up” from The Book of Mormon Musical. There is a warlord who shoots people in the face waiting for them in that city.
0:03:29 – Courage and doubts conquered. It’s just really just people looking for the LDS faith.
0:05:56 – Emotionally depressed, feeling lost, looking for a cause? Golden convert.
0:06:20 – “Best wife in the world for him.” Again, very telling without meaning to be.
0:07:16 – “Up to me to make myself worthy of you.” Ah yes, we have no value without worthiness. Notice she has the church; what she needs is a man to be complete.
0:08:20 – Actually, given the amount of time she’s suddenly staring off into nowhere, maybe the only explanation is… *sigh* drugs.
0:08:45 – The amazing doctrine of “soulmates” taught by the Prophet… no one.
0:08:50 – Um, sir? You’re standing in a park, alone, with your hand outstretched for a long time… are you drunk?
0:09:10 – Benji just wanted some of Jimmy’s drugs.
0:09:40 – “Doesn’t have the guts to do what he knows is right.” Yup, that’s what families fight over all the time.
0:09:43 – “This isn’t what a family is for!” Exactly what Abel’s sister cried out after Cain hit Abel the first time. It’s also what Judah’s daughter-in-law cried out mid-incest prostitute imitation scheme with her Judah. It’s also what Ham cried out upon spying Noah’s drunken junk. It’s also what Mary said when her Father explained exactly how she’d get pregnant with Jesus.
0:10:40 – That’s right, don’t let your brother go. Instead, throw all kinds of insults and “I know you know better” lines at him.
0:10:50 – Blame yourselves for him making decisions that are different from yours.
0:11:15 – “So what do you think Jimmy?” Every guy who thinks about rebelling from his family is instantly offered a threesome with teenager girls.
0:11:38 – Drunken dance orgy song.
0:12:58 – “Do your own thing, and still you’re loved like a brother.” Unconditional love- an evil concept.
0:13:46 – The lyrics of this song imply that the leader of the gang is waiting for this big exploratory trip to discover why they were born to find out if Jimmy is going. Why is the leader so interested in Jimmy? He has hot girls and guys all around him. Does he actually care for Jimmy? Does he actually worry about Jimmy’s future?
0:14:00 – Surprise Birthday! Love BOMB.
0:14:30 – Ah yes, teenager has trouble accepting love bomb. Physical violence may be necessary.
0:00:00 – Nothing says love like a child giving her most prized possession to an ungrateful sibling, and her MOTHER suggested it. Note, it’s the only possession we’ve seen her have in the entire film. Maybe there’s something to the idea that the younger kids are not receiving an equal distribution of income. After all, Pam and Jimmy would remember times when their father had money before the crippling disease would have consumed the family’s income in medical bills.
0:00:25 – Spit shine of Sunday shoes and breakfast in bed. Everything here says “no money.”
0:01:15 – Benji fixed the car… Awesome. He’s my favorite character.
0:01:40 – Home sewn shirt, still no money.
0:02:16 – Cardboard swords. Burger king crown. Again, no money. CTR on the shield. Nothing says, “I love you, Atheist” like church themed gifts. Tickets to Camelot, finally something that cost a buck or two. You might see why Jimmy would be a bit upset about resources.
0:04:00 – Baby announcement on Jimmy’s birthday… how thoughtful. Everything about this family says forced authority and inconsideration for any sort of thought beyond the bounds.
0:04:35 – “You’re almost 40 years old, there could be something wrong with that baby.” Ah yes, every teenage boy worries about having a Down Syndrome sibling.
0:04:40 – The slap. That’s right, your teenager mouths off to your wife. Physical violence is the only recourse.
0:04:52 – Guilt inducing pseudoscience at its best. If your mother miscarries, it’s probably YOUR fault you rebellious, inconsiderate teen who dared to walk away after your father hit you. Take your abuse like a man.
0:05:02 – Miscarriages don’t happen like this, by the way.
0:05:08 – I’m sorry Emily, but instead of being born into an abusive home of total authority an uncaring poverty in Utah, you’ll be born in China where you’ll be discarded purely for being female, die, and get a trip straight to heaven.
0:05:22 – Missing teeth… eternal principle.
0:05:25 – Party in the middle of the park. Clearly hung over.
0:05:35 – “Flinders… you were in rare form.” Wait, is the blond implying they had sex? Oh my gosh, so naughty.
0:06:10 – “He’s gonna wash away his sins,” said by the token black cast member in the gang, with every bit of seriousness a line like that deserved.
0:06:38 – Your mother lost her baby AND your sister had to go to the hospital, probably because of something you did, you bad, bad teenager.
0:07:18 – “Quest for freedom – Freedom is knowing who you are.” Ah yes, freedom is obeying authority and accepting what they tell you. War also brings peace and effort is a vacation.
0:08:14 – Wait, Jimmy drove to wherever Kesler was on his mission? Maybe there is a reason the Elders look so depressed. Notice, Julie would never have found Mr. Right if Jimmy hadn’t rebelled. Rebellion is part of God’s plan, and so is child abuse, miscarriage, and making the youngest spirit in heaven feel like an outcast in her own family.
0:10:10 – He draws potential. Very nice. Kinda creepy, but nice. Imagine an artist drawing your “Oh” face he imagined for you and telling you about it. Kinda like that.
0:10:30 – “It’s the drugs isn’t it.” YUP!
0:11:05 – Trying the world. Not freedom.
0:11:50 – “Knowing who you are.” “Something else you know isn’t there.” Again, the theme is that everyone on Earth really KNOWS mormons are right. They feel it deep down. They KNOW abortion is wrong. They KNOW big families are good. They all feel it. It’s what one should expect from the pre-existence. From a rational God. But the model isn’t a working one.
0:12:40 – Jimmy could have been a MISSIONARY but gave up on it.
0:12:50 – He’s been sleeping on a bench? And they know to find him there. Odd.
0:13:10 – Payphones. Hallmarks of a bygone era. Random police siren.
0:13:40 – “Not Pam!” Yes, when you are at your lowest, God will kick you right in the feels. Assume fetal position.
0:14:02 – More false doctrine. The spirit world is NOT the pre-existence. As beautiful as this sequence is, it has no basis in doctrine at all.
0:14:28 – That’s 26 seconds of slow spinning.
0:00:03 – We’ve slapped you teenagers. We’ve guilted you teenagers. We’ve propaganda’d the hell out of the church. Now, take sweet little girl pleas. Shape up, you naughty kids!
0:00:28 – Who am I? Where am I going? Ah yes, the questions the church answers. Only answer… back to the church family with you!
0:01:38 – Notice that Jimmy is not really really “Who am I,” but more “Can’t someone love me and not put me down?” He feels oppressed in his family. “Just a number” he has mentioned, despite being the oldest. Parents might try listening, holding, comforting, and not pushing religion on him. Just saying.
0:02:29 – The famous “Angel/Devil” on the shoulder fight over Jimmy’s soul. Family is “good” despite clear signs of abuse. Friends are bad, and maybe these guys are. They’re reckless and out of control. But there is no medium where Jimmy gets to talk to his family and be understood. There is no way to reconcile friends and family, because of the either/or dichotomy the church forces.
As far as climaxes go, this really isn’t too bad for B-grade movies. The internal struggle is certainly well portrayed. I think there is a lot to work with here, I just disagree with the final conclusion.
0:04:30 – Wait, so he was torn as to whether or not to show up at his sister’s funeral, and the friends didn’t understand that? Wow. Kid’s got issues, and those aren’t really friends, are they?
0:05:08 – I hope that they understand that he doesn’t have to believe what they do, and join into their family full time again, to attend a funeral or show compassion. Right?
0:05:27 – Dedicating and fasting. Yes, they’ve been “humbled.” I wonder what he would have drawn the missionaries as.
0:06:30 – Stomach films. Nice touch of humor while still being in contact.
0:07:04 – Giving up smoking has never been easier than with missionaries. One week and he’s clean!
0:07:30 – Wow, doesn’t he look happy? The missionaries are happy. Yes, baptism is the happy thing.
0:07:55 - Unnecessary cut to black, because we go from the missionaries TO missionaries.
0:08:18 – One baptism and they are humble fearless servants of God.
0:08:50 – Can’t marry him… 3 days before. Again, something that is a bad precedence to set up for the LDS crowd. At least the father actually listens to Julie. Maybe Jimmy’s leaving was helping.
0:09:45 – Wait, is this implying that her feelings of love for her promised one only kicked in when he joined the church? Again, staggering implications. If you are not worthy, your loved one will never remember your promise. If you aren’t a good enough missionary, you might not convert someone else’s husband/wife. Don’t marry non-members, goodness, they don’t yet have their love kicked in. But you know, it’s only a musical. What impact could it have?
0:13:18 – Note, Julie thinks that the feelings she has are for her missionary. God is quiet and communicates in vague mysterious ways, but it’s our fault if we misinterpret them.
0:13:40 – That missionary hasn’t been able to hold a girl for two years. Your odds are pretty good honey.
0:13:50 – Elder Green came home before Kesler. Now, his mother had Braxston Hicks with him, meaning they could not be more than a week apart in birthdays, probably only a few days. And yet they didn’t come home together. In my mission, and I assume in others, they weren’t exactly two years, but they would send missionaries home in batches, typically within a few weeks. Granted that Kesler didn’t come home, that means he went out late.
And why would he be delayed going out? Well ,we’ve seen that he ignores the rules due to pride. That’s been constant. And he forgives his own failures while blaming others. Could it be that… Julie delayed his mission? They only knew each other 6 weeks previously and that’s about how long before batches of missionaries. Hmmm….
0:14:14 – Genuine RM creepiness.
0:14:30 – Yeah, he’s learned humility alright!
0:15:00 – That nod, to the “keeping her promise.” Oh yeah, that’s the nod of a spurned man.
0:00:10 – God’s got a sick sense of humor, doesn’t he? Like, when he makes Ezekiel eat crap because other people are not faithful… yeah, that’s what this “having your girlfriend marry your only convert” is like.
0:00:36 – “Promise me you’ll pray first before you do anything drastic.” I think Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice should have said this.
0:00:48 – All part of the plan. Because God is a dick. But hey, take your huggy-face-close best friend forever (literally) and head off to BYU to share a room. That’s part of the plan too!
0:1:00 – If you think this song has no influence on the rapid marriage rates of Utah, you have another think coming. The idea that you know this person from before, and thus don’t need to date them, is pretty rough.
02:24 – I have to wonder if the convert-theft of a girlfriend in legacy was based on this sequence.
02:46 – Beedy beedy beedy beet- Gosh Emily, time to be born. Remember who you are, and hopefully you won’t be rebellious like your older brother, or be abused by your dad.
04:08 – Good thing Jimmy was there to get the car… oh wait, home birth! Clearly home birth is good. Jimmy will be there to see his mother’s bits. Lucky boy, I’m sure he’s glad he gave up partying in California for that.
0:05:45 – Success! Emily is born to a darkened world with only the family to provide light for her, on a rainy night. Abortion refuted, teenagers corrected, clearly the world is repaired and corrected.
0:06:00 – That’s right, the song to make us feel special, as these are for us. I bet this looks silly in 200 years that we thought we were the end of the world.
0:07:20 – Epic sword pose!