Monday, January 26, 2009

Prayers for Bobby - Review

No question, the message is one that needs to be heard. Religion is, more often than not, dangerous to LGBT folk. God, however, is not.

The true story of a boy who commits suicide after the assaults of his mother's religiously driven attempts to save him. It becomes clear that the mother's motivations have more to do with her than with her son, but her epiphany comes too late for her son.

Her efforts since then to atone for her sins are many. The story is, of course cautionary.

This begs two questions: Was the movie good cinema? Did it deliver the message.

Sigourney Weaver was so good at being a driven mother that she made me squirm, even against the background of a movie that made me squirm for completely different reasons. It was poorly written and poorly directed. If it had not even tried to pretend that it was more than a made for Lifetime movie it might have been less difficult. Attempts at edgy film techniques looked just like that, attempts.

The first half of the movie drove off some of the sympathetic because Weaver was so annoying, but clearly the general Lifetime audience that made it through were moved.

Page after page of responses on the Lifetime website were positive. They got it. The few that were negative said, "I didn't watch that trash! Homosexuality is a sin."

Good cinema? No. Effective? Yes. If only one person watching it learned about the harm that can be done, it was positive. That such a lack-luster movie could evoke such an emtional response makes one wonder what a well-made movie could have done with this story.

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