Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Second Glance": It is indeed a wonderful life, if you;re an angel

Second Glance”, by Rich Christiano, showed up in my Netflix queue. The 1992 Christian film looks dated (no cell phones, no Internet, a little bit dusky) but it at least has some interesting points bordering on sci-fi.
Dan Burgess (David White) is a nice 16 year old teen growing up in an evangelical home.  He actually studies for a literature test – and it’s hard to remember what high school teachers used to ask about Hawthorne or Mark Twain novels now in junior English.  The teacher even says it’s a mix of things, some essay, some multiple choice.  Dan picks up a piece of paper off the floor thoughtlessly during a test, and the teacher accuses him of cheating.  The circumstances are such that the viewer believes he isn’t guilty.
His life unravels.  He doesn’t have the friends he wants.  He carelessly says he wishes he hadn’t been ‘saved”. The next morning, his parents have left the house a mess and given him the run of the place to do what he wants.  A middle aged man appears and claims to be an angel. In a brief retread of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Dan will learn what his world would have been life if he had never lived, or had never been saved.
Now I like the idea that angels can be real (that maybe a premise of “Smallville”), but I think there is more to be done with the idea that transportation to an alternate universe for a day.  Maybe this move could be called “second chance”.  One person can make a lot of difference, but it’s hard to believe everyone else, including his parents, would have become so catty (and divorced, and not given him a little sister) if he hadn’t been saved. Faith is a lot more subtle, and shouldn’t need proselytizing.
The angel does give the abstinence speech, and puts it in self-interest terms, but it’s the sort of thing that works only if everybody agrees to the same rules, sexuality only in marriage.  But then, what about LGBT people, who don’t create any risk of unwanted pregnancy (well, except Will Horton in “Days of our Lives”)? 
The official site is here

I did wonder if Christian clubs could meet in public schools.

One time a student thought I had cheated on a government test in high school when I hadn’t, because I predicted that the term “institutionalism” would be on the quiz.  I really did guess the question in advance.  Call it convergent thinking. 

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