The Nativity Story–“The dumbest movie I’ve ever seen”

We decided to take the family to the local theater to see “The Nativity Story”. I’d heard some good things about it, and I wasn’t disappointed. The script pretty much stuck to the work on which it was based, the Bible. Since the Gospel accounts of the Christmas story don’t include everything that happened, we have to guess at some of the things that were said and done. One especially moving moment was when Joseph and Mary were talking to each other about their fears during their travel to Bethlehem. After Mary wonders when they will first be able to tell that Jesus is God, Joseph admits being apprehensive, saying, “I’m afraid that I won’t have anything to teach him.” Another touching scene is when Mary bathes Joseph’s feet as he sleeps by the river after many days of traveling to Bethlehem.

There were several times during the movie when I was moved to tears. So it was with surprise when I stood up to leave at the end that I heard a lady (in her 60’s) a few rows back say to her friends in a not-so-soft voice, “That was the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen!” I couldn’t believe my ears. My first reaction was irritation. But that soon turned to feeling sorry for her. I’m not sure what she had been expecting since the title of the movie is pretty clear about what the movie is all about. Then I felt good, because the story of Christ’s birth is really meant for people exactly like her. She couldn’t have been in a better place for that 1 hour and 41 minutes. A seed was planted in her heart. Someday I hope that seed is watered and begins to grow.

UPDATE: Here’s an interview with Catherine Hardwicke on the making of The Nativity Story. Turns out that Keisha Castle-Hughes, the 16-year-old actress who plays Mary, is pregnant by her 19-year-old boyfriend. Not exactly a perfect parallel to Mary, but at least she has chosen to have the baby.

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