Sunday, June 05, 2005

Write a STORY

I read the following in the CT at the Movies newsletter (Mark Moring wrote it), about Cinderella Man:
When I saw Cinderella Man with other members of the Christian media several weeks ago, one of them complained about the movie's bad language—including extensive usage of the Lord's name in vain. He said he couldn't "recommend" the movie because of the language, and seemed to be saying the film would've been better without all the bad words. Often, I might agree with that observation. But if you took the bad words out of Cinderella Man, you'd no longer have a movie that portrays truth—in all of its beauty and its ugliness.

I used to be a sportswriter, and I covered a bit of boxing. It is a seedy world, and it's hard to know what's thrown around more—punches or profanities. I would expect any realistic film about boxing to include both the punches and the profanities. If Cinderella Man had been stripped of its bad language, I wouldn't have found it believable; it would not have been truthful storytelling. Further, Braddock's faith—and the fact that he avoids bad language—wouldn't have stood out so much had the boxing world been sanitized. A light indeed shines brighter in the darkness.

I've seen previews of Cinderella Man, and I knew even before I read this that I would want to see it (and not just because Russell Crowe is amazing). It looked like a good story. I'm not a boxing fan, but I was captivated by the story possiblities. That's what usually gets my attention: a good story.

I agree that as writers, we have to tell the truth, even if it's ugly. Especially if we're Christian writers. And we also have to tell a good story. Think about it.

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