Review: MEET THE MORMONS

I done met them already!

Consider this a review in two parts: first, the film itself, and second, the motivations, production, marketing and purpose of the film. It’s a fine film and a worthy successor to the throne of Church-produced films to play in the Legacy Theater in downtown SLC. Can it transcend that genre?

No.

THE MOVIE

By its own description, it is a “feature-length documentary”. This gives one the impression that it will be a nonfictional piece that serves to instruct or capture some sort of history. But this is not GRIZZLY MAN or MAN ON WIRE. To a certain degree, no documentary can be said to be truly objective; the filmmaker is always telling a story and giving us a selective view of the world. But there is generally a line that, once crossed, takes the documentary film into the realm of propaganda (see e.g. any Michael Moore film). The narrator becomes the subject. It’s an intrusive moment and it disrupts the immersive power of the film. And so, ultimately MEET THE MORMONS is a Church movie, like Legacy or Mountain of the Lord or The Mailbox – but it comes the closest of any Church production in showing the world the everyday power of the Gospel.

Production values are fairly high. I’m becoming convinced that helicopter shots of dramatic scenery are the one continuous aspect of the Church from investigation through to the temple. Expect lots of soaring music. The people involved in this film are skilled at their craft. There are a few hiccups here and there, from overwrought transitions to cliched forms of narration (opening: a helicopter shot of New York City. Narrator: “This is New York City!”). Overall, however, the film looks good and sounds good. This was a big production.

The stories told are also powerful. Basically, the film is a feature-length version of the “I’m A Mormon” campaign, massaged and tweaked. Each person takes 10-15 minutes to tell their story, interspersed with dramatic shots of their lives (or re-enactments, as the case may be). They have picked some very good stories to tell, with people who live outstanding lives around the world. Two of the stories are outside the U.S., two focus on women (you can learn more about these people at the MEET THE MORMONS website). Each person focuses on a different aspect of living the Gospel. The cumulative result is a very good feeling; the Spirit definitely was present as I listened to these histories.

It’s not an unalloyed good. The narrator, a comedian and actress from New York City, was simply not the right pick given the material. Her script was ham-fisted and clearly limited her. For the first couple of vignettes, the narrator would draw the conclusions of the person being highlighted. That’s just poor filmmaking, especially in a documentary. These people are able to speak for themselves. The film pushes from the realm of documentary into propaganda at that point. It doesn’t help that the mood of the narration is generally light-hearted and interspersed with TV clips like from the Simpsons, completely at odds with the rest of the film. As I mentioned earlier, the film is sort of like the “I’m A Mormon” campaign. It’s worth considering what made that campaign so effective: short vignettes of members telling their own stories, no sales pitch, just letting people speak for themselves. Someone must have seen that success and attempted to replicate it here, but thought they could tweak the formula to try and push things just a little harder. That’s a mistake. There is undeniable spiritual power in the film, but clearly someone felt that subtlety was not the way to go — and so there are a few tacked-on moments of hard-sell evangelizing that really hurt the film overall.

So: how do you rate such a movie? Well, it’s a really good Church movie. Like, very very good. But I wouldn’t consider it as an sort of serious documentary or attempt at anything other than marketing the Church.

THE PHENOMENON

That it ultimately fails as a serious documentary and is transparently a piece of marketing material for the Church may ironically may defeat its purpose. I believe there is a market for a serious documentary about Mormons, and I don’t mean a negative piece or a Mormon Stories-style-faith-journey-whatever piece; I think you can tell the stories of Mormons and how they live and love their religion, and it could be interesting, uplifting and powerful. This comes close enough to make you wonder what was left on the cutting-room floor, and whether someone in some COB department decided that MEET THE MORMONS needed to be more in-your-face or people might not get the point.

So as such, who will see MEET THE MORMONS? Who will pay to see it? I don’t think many non-LDS will pay to see this movie. I don’t think many people will see it at all, given its limited circulation. But it’s also pretty transparently a piece of marketing collateral and I don’t know of a lot of people, Mormon or non-Mormon, who would pay money to be sold to. I don’t know how much the film cost to produce, but I don’t think MEET THE MORMONS will turn a profit [1]. In saying this, I don’t think I am saying anything that anyone who has thought about it for a minute or two hasn’t already considered, certainly including the Church itself. So then what’s up? Why put this in theaters? Why charge people to see it? I have a few theories [2].

1. It’s in theaters as a gimmick. The cynic in me says that it’s there to drum up publicity and interest in a film that otherwise would be a limited novelty at best for minute audiences in Salt Lake. By putting it in theaters, the Church can describe it as a feature-length documentary in theaters nationwide, which holds a good amount of cachet.

2. It’s in theaters to maximize audience. It’s a good Church movie and I would guess that the Church would like a lot of people to see it as it was meant to be seen. Obviously, this is not possible if it’s only showing in the Legacy Theater.

3. It’s in theaters as part of a new strategy. Experimenting with new forms of film distribution might be a way for the Church to get new (i.e. non-LDS) audiences to see its films. The increased non-LDS audience here will be marginal, but having a film in theaters might open the door to other films in theaters in the future, and maybe other mainstream non-LDS owned film distribution methods. Imagine if the Church could get a film distributed via Amazon Prime or some third party. That could be tremendous, and each baby step the Church takes towards widespread non-LDS distribution, this becomes more of a possibility.

Anyways, this is something new, it’s a decent Church movie. Would I pay to see it? Er….. no but that’s OK. I really don’t think that’s the point.

—————————————-
[1] The Church is donating net proceeds (box office proceeds less distribution expenses) to the American Red Cross. I do not know whether that formula will result in a positive amount, but I would imagine that regardless of the actual amount of box office proceeds, the Church will probably be making a sizeable donation to the Red Cross. This is a good thing.

[2] It’s just a theory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcLwtg98S-8

Comments

  1. In my stake the chatter is that distribution in theaters is a gimmick intended to meet some minimum criteria for inclusion on Netflix. I can see it sitting benignly on Netflix, forever, lost souls stumbling on it every once in a while and getting inspired. If that’s the actual strategy and it works, I’ll be impressed.

  2. I don’t think that’s actually how it works to get on Netflix, but such an outcome would be interesting.

  3. Did you get to go to a preview screening?

  4. Yup.

  5. The way it was touted in my ward was: 1) it is emphatically NOT a missionary tool which is why proceeds go to the Red Cross and 2) they want all members to go so that it will get a wider release. I didn’t buy it, but that was the party line.

  6. I think #2 is true. There was a hard sell before and after the screening, including pass-along cards for the film. That said, that’s not how film distribution works!

  7. Oh, just like the pass along cards at [insert popular movie]. Oh wait, they didn’t need pass along cards.

  8. I’m curious if it will be promoted in conference.

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    I was curious about this film, and very much appreciate the review. I don’t suppose the PTB in the COB have ever heard the old saying that “less is more.” This made me think of Craig Harline’s Way Below the Angels, which is powerful precisely because it tells an ordinary missionary’s story straightforwardly, without the in your face triumphalism that surely would have infused every page had it been a Church publication.

  10. EmJen, I predict that not only will the movie be promoted in conference, but it will be a central theme. Perhaps the closing address in the Sat. AM session will discuss the movie’s importance and direct members to watch a special presentation about the movie that will immediately follow the session. I imagine such an address will be given by one of the 12 who is invested in media/PR, such as Ballard or Bednar.

  11. Dave and Em, I don’t know, but I would doubt it.

  12. I think part of the point of it being in actual theaters is test the members on social networks as marketing departments notion. Coming right after Elder Bednar’s talk on sweeping the earth here is an opportunity to do so. And if you didn’t notice it as an opportunity, well a letter was sent out to your ward telling them to tell you over the pulpit to post and tweet about this movie that you’ve never seen. So they get some free publicity, get some Mormons outside of the Wasatch Front invested in seeing this (I think some people are genuinely excited to see a ‘real’ movie made by the Church), and they might actually get some additional distribution out of this, at least in some heavily LDS areas.

    Personally I don’t like being told over the pulpit how to use my social media accounts, but I’m sure that there are members who are anxious for exactly such direction.

    On a different note, didn’t we already get a documentary about Mormons? It has a similar name to this one, just drop the first word… I thought it was a solid documentary. PBS still streams it if anyone is interested: http://www.pbs.org/mormons/view/

  13. That was my intuition, they made a 2 hour long I’m a Mormon ad. I already know what my review of the movie will say, “they make it seem like this goodness in amazing people’s lives comes specifically from Mormonism. But I guarantee you with the right resources and subjects I could make an uplifting faith-affirming auto-biography film of almost any faith (Hindu, Muslim, baptist, jewish, etc.). To imply this comes from Mormonism instead of faith and diligence or ________ creates a culture of spiritual exceptionalism that I don’t think always serves our best interests ” (Sigh) I’m too cynical. I’m all for mormon media, but knowing so many nonmembers in my life that are more Christlike people than 99.9% of Mormons, I hesitate to present that we have the source of this goodness that transforms lives (we have it, as do others).

    I think our missionary efforts would go farther if we didn’t have the end goal of conversion. It sounds counter-intuitive, but in all my missionary work out in the field people closed down when I pushed but were very curious and asked a lot of questions when I was just myself being their friend.

  14. And pass along cards don’t carry any hint of being a proselyting tool, nope not at all. :)

    My bet for conference is that it gets one or two mentions in talks that reference Bednar’s super popular piece as examples of good media or flooding the earth. A few of those comments will be just a tad too self-congratulatory in nature for some. Then they will push it hard in those between session videos they show. Its perfect for that. I expect some clips from the movie and maybe some clips movie advertising stype of people saying how much they loved seeing it and their friends (not a proselyting tool though!) loved seeing it. Just my guess.

  15. Steve, to set the record straight, I currently have a .000 batting average in predicting major happenings at general conference. But I keep swinging for the fences on the theory of “even a blind squirrel finds a nut.” I have confidence that my posterity will be able to paper over my record in a way that proves my prophesies were correct … or at least plausible … or at least possible … or at the very least not crazy.

  16. I’m hoping it won’t be promoted in conference (a mention or two would be fine) since it’s a film in English with limited distribution. It seems like it would be a lot more effective to promote it between conference sessions when the audience is a lot more limited to people who might actually be able to see the thing.

  17. It’s not too difficult to get on Netflix. It should be noted that The Saratov Approach is on there now and if the Church really wanted to release this film straight to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HULU, it would have been easy to do so.

    Thank you for the fair review.

  18. Nice write-up. As long as it’s better than Johnny Lingo and Saturday’s Warrior, I am in. My expectations were generally fairly low given the church movies we have seen in the past.

    For those who have not seen it, Grizzly Man is amazing.

  19. Kristine A, I don’t think there’s a need to be too cynical here. It’s a decent Church movie, and it is actually quite careful in emphasizing how members have preserved a sense of local culture and harmony with other faiths.

  20. Steve, I expected no less, really. It will take time for church media to get there.

  21. It’s actually kind of hard to get a movie on Netflix.

    http://www.filmmakingstuff.com/sell-a-movie-to-netflix/

    And it’s hard to get advertising on itunes if you do have a film there.

    http://macharwood.blogspot.com/2011/12/getting-your-indie-film-onto-itunes.html

    Saratov Approach was distributed pretty broadly in theaters. At least as broadly as Meet the Mormons is now. This is an interesting approach from the church.

    DCL’s theory is the most plausible I’ve heard.

  22. Matt W, it’s clear that theater distribution could be a factor, but it’s not the only factor.

  23. I was leery of the fact that the 4 men presented are living extraordinary and interesting lives, and of the women, one is a kick boxer, but one is a housewife from SLC. I realize that they can’t only showcase adventure, but if they have to do one that’s more “familiar” and “middle class American,” why do that with one of the slots for the two women when there are twice as many men featured? And of course, women outnumber men in the church in the first place, so why over-represent the men in the first place? Maybe I’m misunderstanding how the women and men are being portrayed here. I haven’t yet seen it. Just my initial impression from the trailer.

  24. Angela, the SLC housewife has the most moving story in the whole film, in my opinion.

  25. I heartily agree with Kristine A: “they make it seem like this goodness in amazing people’s lives comes specifically from Mormonism…”

    We don’t hear enough of the “just be a friend” as a strategy. Though I am weary of all the strategizing and attention paid to so-called missionary work…perhaps at the expense of “just be a good person.”

    I also continue to be irritated by the whole tenor of “I am a Mormon,” and this “Meet the Mormons” approach. Based on these an outsider should be convinced that all of us are exceptional–and not just mostly mundane, average, plodding, normal, and boring–as relates to the interests of pop culture and social media. Look around your ward, there are many fine people (especially if you don’t engage them in talking about politics or religion), that are kind and caring for their families and for one another, but not in the least interesting as defined by the church’s current media campaigns.

  26. Re: Kristine A’s comment, it seems like the I’m a Mormon campaign in general is the church still trying to get a seat at the table with other Christians, Hindus, Jews, etc. as a mainstream religion, which is a more modest goal than publicly proclaiming that it is the exclusive conduit to happiness.

    The Netflix theory, if ultimately inaccurate, is interesting in its own right as a post hoc apologetic. It seems that the rank and file in my area at least are searching for some kind of reason for this movie.

  27. the “perky blond narrator” is Jenna Kim Jones. She is a comedian and wrote for the daily show, etc.

    However, her day job is to be on the podcast “Alison Rosen is your New Best Friend” and the “Adam Carolla Show.” As much as mormons love to show Jenna Kim Jones and her I’m a mormon video, etc . Not a single active mormon would be caught dead listening to Jenna Kim Jone’s podcast. It is riddled with profanity, more f words than you can imagine, sex and scatalogical humor, etc. If it was a movie, it would be rated R and then some. Not sure how she gets away with it. I dare any active believing LDS who thinks this is extreme to listen to a full episode of “Alison Rosen is your new Best Friend” and see if you can get through ten minutes of it without being disgusted.

  28. See, they should have used her more!

  29. “As I mentioned earlier, the film is sort of like the “I’m A Mormon” campaign. It’s worth considering what made that campaign so effective…”

    The ‘I’m a Mormon’ campaign was effective? I’ve heard the opposite (if we’re defining “effective” in terms of missionary effort) — I heard the campaign was popular, but largely just within the Church & its existing members.

    Are there any statistics about it? I’d love to see them.

  30. Jen, there aren’t public statistics, but yes it was highly effective.

  31. I’m a little confused how they couldn’t get stories from 50% outside the US and 50% women.

  32. Whatever this is, it’s certainly an improvement over “God is not Dead.” So there’s that.

  33. Pangwitch, I’m active and believing and I listen to those podcasts semi-regularly (of which she’s a sometimes contributor, it’s not a full-time gig) and I’m not disgusted. With what exactly are you upset she’s “getting away with?”

    Jen K, the measures of success weren’t necessarily numbers of baptisms, rather in effectively dispelling myths and misperceptions about Mormons, which it has been effective in doing.

  34. 3-D might have helped.

  35. MagpieLovely says:

    “Real” movies most certainly do pass-along cards: free mini posters are regularly being shoved at me at our local cineplex. I hear rumors that Bednar and Holland are both speaking about this film at conference and that there will be a full page Meet the Mormons ad on the back of the Ensign.

    Also, the same guy who distributed Saratov Approach (Purdie Distribution) is distributing Meet the Mormons. So Netflix chances are good, I would think.

  36. Magpie, that’s certainly possible.

  37. Steve: “the SLC housewife has the most moving story in the whole film, in my opinion.’ That’s encouraging.

  38. I am a HUGE movie buff. I love movies that tell a good story. In my opinion, a movie without a good story is just a hollow shell. Some years ago, a friend of mine who worked for the Girl Scouts told me that the GScouts paid $2,000,000 to an ad agency and what they got for all that loot was a slogan, “Girl Power.” Are you kidding? I said to my friend, “What the GScouts should have done was take the $2mm and made a fun movie about a young girl with various challenges and along the way – AS A SIDE NOTE TO THE STORY – have her join the GScouts and show the GScouts in a positive light within the FUN STORY of the movie. Well my friend was sort of blown away by that idea. So what I would love to see is the church make a movie (like something along the lines of Lars and the Real Girl) that shows someone with life issues and there is this side note of how his/her mormon friends are shown as normal people, but also as good and kind people with some of the unique mormon stuff thrown in such as a church that has a basketball gym in it. The thing I loved most about Lars… was that the whole town he lived in made a conscious effort not to judge him, but to lovingly support him. I agree 100% with Kristine A. that the best missionary work is to be a true friend. In my opinion, the church would be better off making a movie ABOUT being a true friend, but not as hype, just as a natural part of a solid story line.

  39. Thanks for this review, Steve. I saw the film this morning as part of the Church PR’s early release/marketing to the bloggernacle. (Invited because I blog for The-Exponent) (And also because I’m relatively conservative, progressive-Mormon-wise.) The audience was entirely female.

    Angela C. you are exactly right. This film has all sorts of problems from a sexual equality perspective.

    What I loved:
    1. Lots and lots of people of color.
    2. The message that we are “family” – the lot of us.
    3. The message that the gospel alters us for the better: when we become members of the church, we become less self-interested and naturally reach out to the community at large.
    4. Extraordinary examples of good Mormons.

    What I didn’t love:
    1. Women were under-represented.
    2. Male-centric stories. All of them. Even the stories about women.
    3. Women’s roles were repeatedly moved into “traditional” frames – even the kick-boxer, who is far from a traditional female.
    4. The opening scenes include a husband-bishop and his silent wife. (reminiscent of the temple films. She speaks eventually, but her real life is not represented well in the film – she’s an educator and a confident woman. I met her.)
    5. . . never mind. I need to get out the door to go to the women’s meeting. . . where men preside.

    Have a lovely evening folks!

  40. Kevin Barney says:

    I looked on the website, and apparently this film is coming to a theater in my area. So I’ll plan on seeing it. I appreciate the view so I have a sense of what to expect.

  41. If the Church made this movie 20 years ago, it would have been called, “Meet the Mormons* (*please don’t call us ‘Mormons’)”

  42. When tested around the US with those who are not LDS, the “Meet the Mormons” film significantly improved positive perceptions about the the Church, its members, and its missionaries. 74% of those not of our faith said they would gladly recommend it to their family and friends. 99% of LDS test audiences were very positive about the film and said they would share it with their friends and family. I think people should see the film for themselves and then judge. If you don’t want to pay, it will eventually be available through free channels. The First Presidency produced this film to help people (whether large or small in number based on the success of the film) understand what truly motivates us–a desire, even as imperfect as we are, to follow the Savior. I am saddened to see so many cynical and pre-judgemental comments here. I think most members will love the movie. For an alternative perspective on the film: http://ldssmile.com/2014/09/26/buzzified-review-meet-mormons-movie/

  43. David, I agree with your conclusions and I believe my review largely supports what you’re saying. Where are we disagreeing, exactly?

  44. technotrooper says:

    Steve, while I may have a more positive take on the film itself (I thought it was fantastic), I very much respect your opinion and felt you were honest and balanced in your review. Some of the comments following your review seemed a bit cynical and pre-judgemental to me. I love seeing the Church try something bold and new to challenge myths, misperceptions, and stereotypes–to help us define ourselves rather than be defined by others. I hope members will support the First Presidency’s efforts to do so.

  45. Thanks very much. I share the hope that the film will help people feel the Spirit and come closer to Christ.

  46. David, I believe this film will help people feel the spirit and come closer to Christ. As I said, I loved that about the film. Anything that helps bring our sisters and brothers to the saving, hopeful truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a good thing.

    It is also important to note flaws and failures of the film to reach certain audience members. Several active LDS single, professional women previewed the film at the same time I did. They all agreed, this film would fail to encourage their non-LDS, single, women friends to seek out Mormon missionaries or help such women feel good about the Church. They felt the film would further alienate that group, rather than communicate an attitude of acceptance and respect for childless, unmarried, professional women.

  47. Melody: I see your point, but also think there are only so many different situations and stories that can be shown in 78 minutes. I doubt one single movie can do everything for every subsegment of the Church and human family. All I know is that the film apparently tested very well with non-LDS women. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to tell additional stories such as the ones you would like the Church to focus on in the future. The Church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign has many more different profiles, stories, situations because they aren’t limited to the length of a theatrical movie. I hope people can appreciate the stories of others–even if they aren’t exactly representative of their own personal story or life. Isn’t that a big part of what going to the movies is all about–hearing the stories of others who are not exactly like us? I don’t believe the purpose of the film is to get people to talk to the missionaries. It seems more like a public communication effort designed to debunk myths, build understanding and unity, and clearly define that we are imperfect followers of Christ.

  48. I blew my credibility to take my heathen dh to a Mormon movie on “17 Miracles.” It was worse than a saccharine SS lesson because we had paid cash money for it and were sitting in a dark theater expecting something that might compete with what we usually see there. I’ll give this one a shot, but I’m wary of pressuring him to come along, so it’ll have to be a VT date.

  49. MDearest, I think any member who isn’t sure should see the movie first so they know whether or not they would feel comfortable sharing it with a non-member friend.

  50. Kevin Barney says:

    It’s actually coming to my typical theater, so I’ll definitely be seeing it.

  51. I love the idea, and agree there could be (and probably is) a market for a real documentary on Mormons. I’d love a real filmmaker, without an agenda, to dive into Mormon history. There is a wealth of interesting stories, from varied and interesting perspectives (American religions, isolated faith communities, charismatic leaders, immigration and emigration, the journey from NY to OH to MO to IL to UT and beyond, the California experience, the Brooklyn, MMM, the Battalion, and on and on and on) making compelling storytelling.

    Someone please get on that?

  52. Start with NEW YORK DOLL and go from there.

  53. Hilary Dalton-Zander says:

    “I believe there is a market for a serious documentary about Mormons, and I don’t mean a negative piece or a Mormon Stories-style-faith-journey-whatever piece; I think you can tell the stories of Mormons and how they live and love their religion, and it could be interesting, uplifting and powerful.”

    A very fine documentary already exists! Co-produced by American Experience/Front line and producer Helen Whitney (Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero), The Mormons aired on PBS in 2007. Featured are LDS scholars (Truman Madsen, Richard Bushman, etc), non LDS folk (Terry Tempest Williams, Jon Butler), regular everyday Mormons; disaffected and/or former Mormons (Margaret Toscano, Trevor Southey), LDS Church leaders (Jeffrey Holland, Dallas Oaks, Gordon Hinckley). In short, it’s the most comprehensive and even-handed handling of the LDS Church I have seen by a commercial media entity. That said, there are a few points I take issue with, but we have a copy in our family media library and watch it – all four hours – at least once a year. http://www.pbs.org/mormons/view/

  54. it's a series of tubes says:

    “17 Miracles.” It was worse than a saccharine SS lesson because we had paid cash money for it

    Certainly, no film can be all things to all people. Here’s a different perspective on that one: that movie greatly deepened my oldest daughter’s connection to the church. Seeing her 5G-grandfather (the “man in the dream”) made it personal in a way no story had done for her before.

  55. Pangwitch said above: “the ‘perky blond narrator’ is Jenna Kim Jones. She is a comedian and wrote for the daily show, etc. However, her day job is to be on the podcast “Alison Rosen is your New Best Friend” and the ‘Adam Carolla Show.’ As much as mormons love to show Jenna Kim Jones and her I’m a mormon video, etc . Not a single active mormon would be caught dead listening to Jenna Kim Jone’s podcast.”

    A few things in response:

    * JKJ regularly appears on ARYINBF, but has never appeared on the Adam Corolla Show. It’s true that both podcasts have quite a bit of profanity, but JKJ represents LDS people very well. She’s forthright about being an LDS church member, doesn’t herself use obscene language, and comes across and intelligent and positive. (Of the two podcasts, ARYINBF is the one that doesn’t frequently racist and sexist humor–though an argument could be made that Carolla is usually doing it with enough irony to make it bearable.)

    * This active Mormon guy listens to ARYINBF regularly. I should have more shame, I guess.

    * I wouldn’t call appearing on a podcast once a week JKJ’s “day job.” In fact, I highly doubt she gets paid for it at all. I think she does it because she’s friends with Alison Rosen. And as a way, as a stand-up comic, to get herself out there and get some more publicity. But probably more of the former than the later.

    * Honestly, in think JKJ does more good than harm by appearing on a podcast (even one that’s “Rated R”). People who listen to the podcast probably have a more positive view of Mormons than they would otherwise due to her positive influence. Others on the show also say positive things about Mormons–which would be highly unlikely if she refused to go on the show, or started humming hymns every time they dropped an f-bomb.

  56. My perspective…The problem with those of you who call yourselves cynics, perhaps you are making a judgement too soon. Remember, this movie was produced by the church and approved by a Prophet of God. I have faith it will be received well and can’t wait to see it.

  57. Yes. If the Prophet approved it, it must be a good movie.

  58. Someone once told me that President McKay’s favorite movie was Doctor Zhivago.

  59. Hook 'em Horns says:

    When we are taught weekly that everything we do is an example to the world, and can either lead to or away from Christ. How is this movie not proselyting? I appreciate the message, but it’s goal clearly is missionary work. Why back away from that?

  60. I love church related material, and I can’t wait to see the movie. Who cares what the motive is behind making this movie, it makes me feel proud and excited to be a member. I don’t mind paying to watch it either, I’m sure many of us would have spent money on worse movies than this.

  61. blueridgemormon says:

    [Note: this comment more about the “I’m a Mormon” campaign than the “Meet the Mormons” movie…]

    To those who see the MTM film as an extended/glorified “I’m a Mormon” ad.. seeing the similarity between that ad campaign and this new gem from the GOP will either elicit a cheer or a facepalm…. #ImARepublican

  62. blueridgemormon says:

    (To dispel any doubt: my reaction is facepalm…)

  63. So, conference has come and gone and not one word of “Meet the Mormons” was mentioned. So much for the numerous cynics predictions of the film being promoted at conference. Which shows, their insight into the church really isn’t all that insightful.

  64. Our family has watched this movie 3 times. Our first was at a showing where most of the cast was present and we got to meet almost all of them. They were all so sweet, humble, and kind. The way that I see this production is that it was a chance for the general population to peek into the homes and lives of LDS families to see that we live normal lives, we do normal things, we love our families, we have high standards, and we are trying to be good citizens. We do not think we are better than anyone else. I think that many people are intriqued by Mormons. I am curious about other cultures and wish that other groups, like the Amish or Orthodox Jews in America (just to throw a couple of groups that I am intrigued by) would do similar projects.

  65. when will mormons wake up and see their church is dieing in places where there internet..americans know all about real mormonism and thats why mormons make up 1% of america..their ship is sinking!!!

  66. Mmmmkay.

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