Faith-based films have been in abundance at the box office lately, and as a whole, they have been long criticized for preaching to the choir. These films are marketed for their target audience – current churchgoers – and rarely reach the intended audience – non-churchgoers. While faith based, The Song brilliantly marketed itself as a romance; and a romance it is. This is a Biblically sound romance set in present day, but is a story that resounds in any time period.
Jed King is the son of a musician, and is a musician himself. He meets, falls in love with, and courts a woman named Rose whom he meets at a local festival. Rose is a simple woman who was raised on a vineyard, and she and Jed share common dreams of a family. They marry and have a son, while Jed’s music career skyrockets because of a song he wrote for Rose.
With his success comes temptations of the road. Jed’s violinist, Shelby, begins to show interest in him and she increasingly tempts him into adultery. When Jed and Rose fight about his lack of time at home, he turns to Shelby and has a lasting affair with her. Shelby also tempts him with drug use and Jed quickly becomes addicted.
While The Song may not sound like a romantic film, let alone a faith-based one, it is grounded in Scripture. Jed’s voiceovers are taken mostly from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. The verse, “it is a chasing of the wind” is repeated, and The Byrds song “To Every Season” is also covered by Jed’s band in the film, lyrics of which are taken directly from Ecclesiastes. The title The Song refers to the Song of Solomon, or The Song of Songs, depending on the version of the Bible. The book was written by King Solomon and is regarded as one of the most romantic pieces of literature in history.
Ecclesiastes was also written by Solomon during a time in his life where he had everything, but felt that his great wealth and endless belongings didn’t make him any better than anyone else. “God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” Ecclesiastes 6:2
This verse is just one example of how the filmmakers show the meaning of the Old Testament in present day through Jed. At the peak of his success, the career and fame he longed for his entire life, he found himself wallowing in his ability to have whatever he wants when he wants it. He would have been better off cultivating his marriage with Rose, and he would have been happier for it.
Now the movie does have a happy ending, but Jed and Rose still have a lot of work to do in their marriage. Rose accepts her husband back into their home and they have a daughter together. The movie ends with their relationship on the mend, and I can’t think of anything more romantic than working together to improve a marriage. Some may take issue with that, but from a Biblical stance like the one made by this movie, it’s the truth. This movie reinforces the truth that happiness lies in our marriages and families, and the seeking of anything else is vanity; a chasing after the wind.
Extras included on the DVD are a commentary with director Richard Ramsey and a Meet the Cast featurette. Another extra entitled King Solomon on Screen: Adapting the Story provides some background on the Scriptures that inspired the film. The featurette Author Kyle Idleman on Love, Sex and Marriage gives couples some insight on how to apply lessons to their own relationships, and Metaphors and Poetry: Themes of The Song expands on this.
The Song may be faith based, but don’t let that deter you. It is highly relatable, non judgmental, well acted, and has a killer folky soundtrack. Plus, it’s a great movie to watch with your spouse and to incite conversation. In fact, the makers of the movie have a book for couples to go through with lessons and talking points from the film. The Song makes for a perfect choice this Valentine’s Day.
Sony Home Entertainment presents The Song. Directed by: Richard Ramsey. Starring: Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner, Caitlin Nichol-Thomas. Written by: Richard Ramsey. Running time: 116 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released: February 10, 2015