The Most Satisfyingly Quirky Mormon Movie You’ll See This Year

Apologies for breaking into your Saturday with an impertinent spur of the moment AMV post, but I just saw the Mormon movie I’ve been waiting to see and there is a limited chance this weekend for those of you in Utah to get to attend a screening and meet the director and actors, so I thought I’d best get the word out.

Perhaps I’d better qualify my use of the phrase “Mormon Movie.” (Re-hashing the eternal question, of course) Director/Co-Writer Dave Boyle is a BYU grad and served a Japanese-speaking mission. His serendipitous friendship with Hiroshi Watanabe turned into a witty comedy idea and thus was born White on Rice. It’s only about as “Mormon” as Napoleon Dynamite, but it’s unique, refreshing, international, and thoroughly satisfying. I may just prefer it to Jared Hess’s work – it’s every bit as quirky and postmodern (without all the depressing postmodern existentialism that taints the almost-brilliant films like 500 Days of Summer that the American independent market produces) without being as over-the-top. It’s a comedy you still feel respectable after watching. And it reminds us that the world’s got a lot more stories to tell, even if we do have to film them on location in Salt Lake City.

I don’t want to predispose you too much one way or the other – just go to it with my word that it’s funny and unique and report back with your reflections. I’d love to hear some other perspectives.

The film opened a few weeks ago in California and is still showing in Orange County, San Francisco and San Jose, and it’s opening in Salt Lake and Provo this weekend and will be in the theaters for at least a week, more if it does well. There are dates scheduled in Denver and Honolulu, with more cities to be announced as the self-distributing film rolls on. See a complete list of theaters here.

Of special interest are the showings which will be attended by Boyle, Watanabe and child co-star Justin Kwong, with a question and answer period to follow. These will be today, September 26, at 11:55 am and 2:10 pm at the Provo Town Center Cinemark and then at 7:15 and 9:30 pm in Salt Lake at the Century 16. The movies will be showing at these two theaters throughout the week, but these specific screenings will also have the Q&A sessions.


6 thoughts on “The Most Satisfyingly Quirky Mormon Movie You’ll See This Year”

  1. One of the most thoughtful pieces written about the movie comes from Jeff Yang at the San Francisco Chronicle:

    Also, take a look at this feature in the Orange County Register:

    And one of my favorites (even though the film is not yet available on DVD):

    These articles will give you a better sense of the film than anything you will read in the Utah press.

  2. 帰還宣教師としてお楽しみに待っています。

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