Only God Can: Pre-Review Warmup!

Only God Can: Pre-Review Warmup! November 19, 2019

Greetings and welcome back! Today, we’re reviewing a 2017 Christian movie called Only God Can. It’s the annoying heartwarming story of a bunch of middle-aged Christian women living in one of the most privileged countries in the world as they try to find a solution to the Problem of Evil. To get through this experience, we’ll be drinking. A little. Join me here for some pre-review observations, and then please feel free to head down to the comments as we watch together!

a very poorly photoshopped image of the characters in this movie
Whoever made this photo did it on a dare to make something even more obviously photoshopped than the Nic Cage “family” portrait in the remade Left Behind.

I’m firing up the movie at roughly 6:00 Pacific Time. If you can’t find it free somewhere, Amazon sells it in SD for about 99c.

The Annoyance Starts Early.

Right from the tag line, we can see that Only God Can is going to hit us in the annoyance feels:

The movie explores the lifetime bond of five friends struggling through life’s challenges that become more difficult with each passing year. It brings to light the relationships the women have with each other and the relationship they lack with God. The movie depicts real-life situations that many of us can identify with and the women are relatable.

“Struggling through life’s challenges?”

Watching the trailer for the movie, it’s very clear that these are extremely privileged, successful women. They own lavish homes, work in well-appointed and large offices, and dress and groom themselves in style. And as we’ll see, they’re all–even the irritating TRUE CHRISTIAN™ character–capable of maintaining long-term friendships with other people.

These are not totally suffering individuals by any means.

BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

None of that amazingly wonderful life-stuff matters, however. Not to this movie.

See, the main character’s literal worst complaint about her life, as delivered to a florid-faced, puffy fundagelical man who is clearly meant to be the Movie’s Designated Penis, is this:

“When I try to talk about my faith [at my sorority’s annual get-togethers], it’s like… well, they just… make fun of me!

OH THE HUMANITY SORORITY!

Do you hear this? Do you understand, can you possibly comprehend her sheer suffering?!? Normies express irritation whenever she tries to Jesus Juke the proceedings!

And the Movie’s Designated Penis (MDP) winces in a very Jesus-y way in response. His squinched-up preacher eyebrows tell her in a solemn way:

“I know what that’s like.”

She gazes at him in absolute despair. 

What oh what can she possibly DO to bring them around to thinking exactly like she does?

My Guesses About This Movie.

It really seems like fundagelicals can’t watch any movies whose endings they cannot guess ahead of time. Their trailers tend to give away the whole thing.

I’m guessing the movie will tell us how the wingnut convinces her sorority friends that her “crazy ideas about life,” as one character refers to her religious wackadoodlery, are 100% what they all need in theirs.

What makes that “lesson” so tragic is that the actress who just pouted about not getting to Jesus Juke her friends’ nice weekend actually died earlier this year. Lisa Sheridan had begun to make a name for herself in movies adored by the Christian Right wingnut brigade. And she died of complications brought on by alcoholism. At the time of her death, she also had medications in her system that commonly get prescribed for serious insomnia and anxiety.

I have nothing but sympathy for Lisa Sheridan.

And nothing but scorn for the movie making a mockery of her death before it even happened.

Christianity: The Opposite of Helpful.

As longtime readers know, my dad passed away under similar circumstances a couple of years ago. He didn’t give me a lot of life lessons to hold to heart, but one of the most important ones he offered was this:

It’s a crazy mixed-up world, and people do whatever they can to get by in it.

That’s what Lisa Sheridan was trying to do. And Christianity only got in her way.

So in a very real sense this movie, to me, represents the kind of false teaching that Christians get about how to get through life. Jesus-ing doesn’t help anybody. It only distracts them from the work needed to really do that, by giving Christians goes-nowhere, does-nothing teachings with vague, impossible directions that can’t be put into lived experience, all to achieve results that are almost entirely imaginary and transient.

And in this trailer, we already see that most of the wingnut character’s friends already know that fact. They aren’t Jesus-ing, and they’re doing fine.

That cannot be allowed to stand.

Fundagelicals hate hearing about anybody doing well without Jesus-ing. It makes all their Pretendy Gaming seem ridiculous. So I’m guessing this movie will fling a big problem at these naysaying women that will totally make them go home and rethink their lives.

The trailer indicates that the big problem involves alcoholism, which makes me despise this movie even more, right out of the damned gate.

A Note About the Hooch.

“I need a little nap,” Mr. Captain said, pushing back his chair.

“Wait,” I said. “Before you go, can you please get me a glass of wine?”

“Sure.” He headed into the kitchen, passing Bother, who immediately eyed his now-vacant chair. “The Ménage à Trois?”

“No, the boxed wine.”

There came a pause.

Then he asked, with an steely silken tone, “Why is there boxed wine in my house?”

See, my better half is a wine enthusiast. His father worked in the industry as a key player, and it’s given him an appreciation. He sounded concerned that he’d never noticed this abomination in his living space.

I called back, “For reviews of movies like this one.”

He paused. Then, he came back to the study a minute later with–I kid you not–a coffee mug filled with bright purple wine. “Here’s your semi-alcoholic grape juice,” he said, voice dripping scorn.

“Wow, that’s purple,” I marveled, swishing it around in the mug. “That is really purple.”

“I’m not sticking around to hear how it tastes,” he said, and turned on his heel to leave.

So it’s me, you, and a flowery coffee mug filled with some kind of tart red boxed wine.

This is gonna be perfect.

Join me in the comments in a few minutes when I fire off the movie!


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About Captain Cassidy
Captain Cassidy grew up fervently Catholic, converted to the SBC in her teens, and became a Pentecostal shortly afterward. She even volunteered in church (choir, Sunday School) and married an aspiring preacher! But then--record scratch!--she brought everything to a screeching halt when she deconverted in her mid-20s. That was 25 years ago. Now a comfortable None, she blogs on Roll to Disbelieve about psychology, pop culture, politics, relationships, cats, gaming, and more--and where they all intersect with religion. And she still can't carry a note in a bucket. You can read more about the author here.
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