Seems like pretty much all my friends love to hate that glorious Halestorm movie, The RM (but Eric Snider liked it!). Reminds me of how a lot of people find their next-younger sibling annoying : ) Okay, I grant it was positively painful to watch! as often as not. But I was baffled enough by it (and prideful enough, since it was my idea to drag my friend to see it that day) that I suspended judgment until the end. And as I walked out, I realized it was absolutely brilliant, and the more I thought about it, the more brilliant I thought it was. So, despite the unappreciative masses, here is why I think The RM is not just a clever satire of Mormon culture but a stunningly insightful commentary on what it is to be a disciple of Christ . . .
1) When I was a kid, I too had a bed made out of food storage! Okay, I didn’t have peanut butter and jelly for a mattress, but my mattress was laid on top of buckets of hard red winter wheat!
2) My favoritest cousin used to give me a different lecture each year on why of all the marketing strategies there were, this particular multi-level marketing approach was the ultimate. And they had two or three Lamanite exchange students, and bunk beds. Okay, I never bought the multi-level marketing stuff.
3) Seems like the main place I saw Dad bust out his fingernail clippers was in church meetings, and it took me until some time in my twenties to register how tacky it is to clean/trim your nails in the middle of a meeting like that!
4) Kirby is the name of a vacuum cleaner! I didn’t figure out that howler until I saw the credits!
5) My sister’s beloved car got totaled just a few weeks before she came home from her mission to Bolivia.
6) The woman I was going to marry waited until after I got home from my mission to dump me.
7) There are about eight other vignettes that seemed to come straight out of my family, but I don’t remember them all right now. Suffice it to say, it was seriously eery when I realized them all.
8) Mormon life in most all its manifestations, on a regular basis is positively painful to watch (as acknowledged right here on T&S, e.g. here, here, and here). The crazy thing is, it wouldn’t be except that we have such high aspirations for it. But those aspirations are what it’s all about. We are building the kingdom of God on Earth, and this is what we’re building, and this is what it is. But it is the working of God’s hand in these latter days!
Kirby, er, Jared comes home to reap the blessings he has earned by serving the Lord, the blessings people keep telling him are waiting for him, all through the movie, and the movie is all about his blessings. Not what you would want to call blessings? But it’s only a slightly worse than usual assortment, and a lot better than what some RMs find waiting for them. The challenge is, to be grateful for them, and to praise God in all his works. Honey from the lion’s carcass! (Thanks, Mike D)
–“When Simon Peter saw [the multitude of fishes], he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord . . . And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:8,10)
–“And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness . . . And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness” (Ether 12:23,26)
–“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27; see also Alma 37:6)
–“The weak things of the world shall come forth . . . that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world”(D&C 1:19-20
–“I call upon the weak things of the world . . . and their arm shall be my arm” (D&C 35:13)
–“And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.” (Mormon 8:12)
Et cetera . . .