Movie Review to Save a Life

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To Save a Life is a story that I feel could transform lives if viewed by teens. Since I first watched this I have shown to my children and my youth group and can honestly say that it impacted at least two. The movie is about Jake Taylor, a senior at Pacific High School. Jake is the typical high school jock that has it all popular friends, a beautiful girlfriend and is planning on attending college on a basketball scholarship. He parties with the most popular and everyone looks up to him. He is at times even referred to as “everyone’s hero”. However Jake was not ready for what was getting ready to happen in his life. He had been friends with a young man, Roger when they were kids but due to society and the expectations of the basketball star and how he was suppose to act and who he was suppose to hang with they had grown apart. Roger had saved Jake’s life when they were younger and was injured causing him to walk with a limp. He was not an athlete and just blended in with the rest of the school. While Jake seemed to have it all Roger had nothing, no friends and was always being made fun of and he felt that he had no hope. In front of Jake, Roger comes to school one day and pulls a gun, Jake tries to stop Roger but it is no good he shoots himself in front of Jake. For weeks to follow Jake can not stop thinking about Roger and if there had been something that he could have done to stop him from killing himself. Jake begins to look for answers and finds them in a relationship with God. Jakes entire life changes after this, he begins forming new relationships and ending ones that are not good for him. He stops partying and realizes how shallow his life really was. Jake realizes that the pain and emptiness that Roger had experienced and realized that it was also experienced by so many others at his school. Jake begins reaching out to the outcast, over looking some of the social barriers that he once would not cross. By doing this Jake saved at least one life but unfortunately this cost him the life that he was use to. This movie explores that journey that teens face with their choices. In the movie it addresses suicide, teen pregnancy, divorce, peer pressure and substance abuse as well as bullying. I really enjoy this movie because even though it has many problems that teens face on a daily basis that their only hope is found in a relationship with God, which is not always the most popular choice for a high school student and can cause problems also. However, in John 16:33 (NIV): we are reminded that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” After reading the assigned reading this week I could see a lot of the theories in this movie. One example would be the sensation-seeking model and the problem behavior theory. Both of these attributes to adolescents taking risk that could be harmful to themselves such as Jake’s drinking, unprotected sex, and partying (Jaffe, 1998, pg. 139). Even thought Jake had began making changes in his life he still returned to one final party because as a basketball star and the boyfriend of a cheerleader that was what was expected of him. Only to realize that this was not the life he wanted to live. Adolescents feel that they are not going to be harmed by these behaviors and have the attitude “it is not going to happen to me”, however in To Save a Life it did happen to Jake his girlfriend ended up getting pregnant and his future he had all planned out changed. In the movie Roger and Jake had been neighbors and best friends up until their freshman year. Jake matured early, was tall, handsome and athletic and was accepted by his peers at school where Roger appeared to be a late maturing boy who still looked young, still short, and stocky. The night that Jake chose not to go with Roger was one night after a basketball game and Roger had planned on going to his house with Jake and playing video games and eating pizza, but Jake was...
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