10.12.2014

Movie Review: Meet the Mormons

Thoughts before seeing the movie:
When I heard that my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was releasing a documentary in theaters, I was surprised. I began looking into it immediately. The movie follows the lives of a handful of members of the Mormon church. I read about each of these people and thought: They all sound so different from each other! I think that is part of the point. Meet the Mormons is not about converting people to my faith. It's about painting a more accurate picture of what Mormons are like. Mormons don't all live in Utah. We don't practice polygamy. We don't burn down garages (something I was accused of in middle school. Weird?). There is not a mold that all Mormons need to fit into--there are many different kinds of Mormons. Meet the Mormons is about just a few members of my faith. 
 
After-thoughts:

I loved this documentary! It was humorous, serious and heartwarming, thought-provoking and interesting. I felt a wide range of emotions while watching it (with the husband on a romantic date opening night! It was great!)

The introduction caught me totally off-guard--it was unexpected and funny. After hearing some thoughts off the streets of New York City about Mormons (and some pop culture references)  the documentary changed gears and went into talking about the lives of six different Mormon families. Each story was interesting and unique, and I felt like I could really connect with a couple of them. Because I love history, it wasn't surprising that I especially loved the part about the "Candy Bomber," I could've easily watched a whole documentary just about him. Overall I felt like it was a well-made film with some very touching stories and just so much heart and warmth. 

I did my best to go into the movie with zero expectations. Because I am a Mormon, I know I have some bias but I didn't want my opinion of the documentary to be subconsciously pre-determined. I really wanted to perceive it honestly. That being said, I loved the intro, and as the personal stories began, I felt like things were pretty well-done. There was one moment about half-way through where I felt like things were getting a bit cheesy, and as soon as I realized that thought the story switched 
gears and whizzed all the cheese away. There were sections where the portrayal of Mormons seemed different from my own perceptions, and I thought that was refreshing-  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide church, and while one documentary can't show all of the different ways Mormons live around the globe, I appreciated the effort to show that we're not lemmings, all the same with the same opinions and personalities, but that being a Mormon can mean many different things, and especially that we are imperfect people striving to become better each day. Personally, I didn't feel like I was being preached to. Rather, I felt like I was meeting different people with different stories and different challenges that all happen to be Mormon. 

I highly recommend seeing Meet the Mormons, whether you're Mormon or not. It's uplifting and inspiring and is really a feel-good movie. All proceeds from Meet the Mormons are being donated to the American Red Cross. Even more reason to go and see it, I say!

My grade: A



Have you seen Meet the Mormons? What was your reaction? 

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