You may not have heard of this little film that was just recently given a limited release, (meaning it’s not in all the theaters…you may have to search to see where it’s showing near you), but it is based on the life of Solomon. The opening montage briefly chronicles his father’s life, a music star, David King—his rise to fame, his fall and restoration. While the montage is playing, the narrator is reading excerpts from Ecclesiastes.
Jed, David’s son, follows in his father’s footsteps, seeking after righteousness and wisdom. He falls in love with Rose (an obvious tribute to the woman in Song of Solomon, called a Rose of Sharon in 2:1). Their relationship follows the story in Song of Solomon, but, on a larger scale, it follows the book of Ecclesiastes as Jed seeks wisdom and tries to find meaning in life through work, pleasure, foolishness, alcohol, achievement, possessions, love… and finds them all meaningless.
Throughout the movie, the narrator reads portions of Scripture—the movie illuminating the meaning of the words, and the words bringing deeper understanding to the movie and man’s actions on this earth.
The movie has the feel of a Nicholas Sparks’ film. It has great music, if you like the blue-grass, folksy, grass-roots, stripped down kind of style. I do. Ultimately it’s a hopeful movie about redemption, although I confess, the feeling of meaningless (taken straight from Ecclesiastes) was, to me, a bit discouraging throughout. It’s hard to watch someone spiral down. It’s hard to hear them questioning the meaning of everything…but then again, it’s also very honest…and Biblical.
I’ve seen most of the Christian movies that have come to the silver screen, and this one has the most scripture in it, by far, of any I’ve seen. It doesn’t, however, have the preachy feel that some do. (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, by the way.) The scripture, coming directly from the writings of Solomon are poetic and focus more on the meaning of life and love than on telling people the good news of Christ. (They are Solomon’s writings, after all.)
In the end, the story is hopeful. Jed, having spiraled into affairs and drugs, repents and turning from his former sins is restored to his wife and son. There is hope and forgiveness.
It feels a bit redundant to write about ways you can connect this movie to the Christian faith, since it’s directly based on scripture in the first place. Its sweeping themes are about the meaning of life, the meaninglessness of our efforts to find happiness, the value of a clean conscience, right living, a good marriage… exactly as you find in Eccelesiastes.
Questions for Discussion:
- Did you feel the movie was hopeful or depressing?
- Do you agree, that everything is meaningless?
- If everything is meaningless, then what was the point of the movie?
- Do you think Jed found any meaning to life in the end? If so, how?
- Do you know people who, like Jed, have chased a variety of sins trying to find meaning and happiness in life?