Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Best Two Years: Surprised How Much I Enjoyed the Movie

Always several years behind the times, I finally watched the 2003 Mormon movie, "The Best Two Years." I was surprised to find it and another Mormon movie at our local video rental place. I think it's my favorite Mormon movie so far, and would even recommend it to young people preparing for a mission since I felt it was a relatively realistic representation of some aspects of missionary life, in spite of having a bit too much corny acting.

The importance of unity in a companionship was one theme I considered while watching the movie. How vital that is, and how challenging it is when a companion can be so different. But this is possible, though the miracle of charity is often needed.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed a wonderful movie. I'm originally from Holland and my dad lives in that exact area. I'm a new convert so last time I visited him we went to that LDS chapel and found several of the extras there, including "the bishops' daughter". I've shown that movie to some of my non-LDS friends and they were rolling on the floor (especially where it concerned Dutch peculiarities that they had also noted)

Frans

Dan the Man said...

Jeff, you should check out Saints and Soldiers if you haven't already. It's not a comedy, but it's a great story done very well. My personal favorite comedy from the LDS film genre is Sons of Provo- a very well done mockumentary, and the soundtrack is top notch.

My mom buys pretty much all these films, so i've seen suits on the loose, baptists at our barbecue, take a chance, soon to see new york doll, and others that I can't remember.

Bob said...

My top three Mormon Movies are Saints and Soldiers, Best Two Years, and States of Grace (God's Army 2).

I've seen nearly all of them, and many are truly garbage.

-Bob

Bookslinger said...

Jeff,
With your wacky sense of humor, I know you'll love "Baptists at our Barbecue." There are usually some used DVDs of it for sale on ebay.

Seller "lisasandy10" often has Mormon movies for sale.

I give 2 thumbs up to "Saints and Soldiers" too. That movie has won many film-festival awards. Though produced by Mormons, it's not obviously a Mormon-movie. The only clue that one of the soldiers is LDS is when someone calls him "elder" in German.

Reach Upward said...

I loved Best Two Years. A lot of the material was strongly reminiscent of my mission in Norway.

I also heartily endorse Saints and Soldiers. My wife forced me to watch it over Memorial Day weekend, and I am very grateful that she did. My Dad grew up in wartime Nazi Germany and my grandfather was in the German military. I come from patriotic American stock on my Mom's side. The film was especially poignant to me given the different perspectives it explores.

It is true that a lot of the LDS comedies are "garbage," as Bob says, but only if you expect a lot out of them. If you are looking for a 90 minutes of cheap laughs with an LDS bent, they're really not too bad -- especially when you consider what Hollywood often has to offer.

Bishop Rick said...

Best two years is one of the few movies that had me laughing out loud in parts. It had many very funny scenes. I think the part that makes it so funny is that it hits so close to home.

Shawn said...

Guess I'll need to check out "The Best Two Years"...

Regarding other LDS movies, I enjoyed "Saints and Soldiers". Definitely recommend. "The Other Side of Heaven" is another favorite.

In terms of comedies, I really liked "Charly". Can I get away with saying that? Seriously! Ok, ok... it should be called half of a comedy since it changes its colors about halfway through. But in my defense, my wife and I never read the book and we had absolutely no idea what to expect when we checked it out from the local video store. (Guess that's a comedy in itself).

If you haven't seen "Charly", I'd recommend it as a good date movie with a nice chunk of "Gorsh, awww shucks" humor that turns out to be a very touching movie in the end. :)

-Shawn

Anonymous said...

You are not alone, Jeff. I finally saw "The Best Two Years" a couple of months ago. I grew up in a family with no men, so the mission theme kept me from rushing to watch it, but when I finally did, I LOVED IT!
"Saints and Soldiers" is a great film, also. Highly recommend it.
The one I'm really looking forward to is "States of Grace." It most likely won't play in theaters here in Virginia, so far from Utah, but I will see it when it comes out on DVD.

Krissy

Bookslinger said...

I don't recommend "Latter-Day Night Biscuit."

The up-side is it has 2 minutes worth of good jokes. The down-side is the show is 63 minutes long.

It's Johnny Biscuit doing his comedy-club act. And it's more Utah-humor than LDS-humor anyway. Most of the jokes the audience laughed at I did not think were funny.

Anonymous said...

The "Best two Years" is a great movie along with "Saints and Soldiers".

The worst LDS movie I've seen has to be "Home Teachers". It was aweful.

Anonymous said...

"Book of Mormon Movie, Part 1" has to be worse than "Home Teachers".

"Home Teachers" was amateurish, but still worth watching for a lot of laughs. HT definitely had better production values than BOMM.

"BOMM" may be worth watching too, at least for some historical value as being the first commercial movie based on The Book of Mormon.

IMO, it follows the BoM close enough. And in the cases where they took artistic license to "fill in the gaps" in order to tell a story, much of it was along the lines of what my own imagination put in the story.

Others have watched BOMM and called it sacrilegious for making Lehi human, and showing some of his weak moments as hinted by the narrative in the book of 1st Nephi.

One friend said to me: "How dare they show Lehi as weak, that's not in the Book of Mormon!" And my reply was, "Yes it is. Lehi did have his weak moments when he couldn't control Laman and Lemuel, and other times the Lord went directly to Nephi instead of going through Lehi."

His Worship said...

Best Two Years is one of the best I've seen, and I've seen most of the LDS movies now available. Unfortunately, the Book of Mormon Movie does have to be about the worst I've seen, especially considering the story they had to work with. I'd rather watch a church video of the same topic, knowing it would be much more well done.

josh maready said...

"The RM" is a movie about a returned missionary that just happens to be one of the funniest movies i have ever seen in my entire life. i found it at blockbuster. if you haven't watched it -- do.

Walker said...

I would have to disagree on the RM. As a matter of fact, I go out of my way to avoid watching--sorry, Josh.

It's simply OVER THE TOP on Utah jokes, most of them cheap and recycled. Unless you are up to your eyeballs in Utah valley humor and like it that way, most likely you will think that Best Two YEars is Oscar material in comparison.

Bookslinger said...

As someone outside of Utah, who wasn't up on the Utah Jokes, I found "The RM" tolerable, and in some parts very funny.

The blatant commercial inserted in the movie was off-putting, even though they were spoofing it.

Favorite commercially-made (that is not church-made) Mormon movies (best to worst):

Saints and Soldiers.
The Work and the Glory (part 1).
Other Side of Heaven.
Best Two Years.
Brigham City.
The Work and the Glory (part 2 American Zion).
Baptists at Our Barbecue.
God's Army.
Napoleon Dynamite.
Mobsters and Mormons.
The RM.
Home Teachers.
The Singles Ward.
The Book of Mormon Movie.

captveg said...

Bookslinger - if you count Napoleon Dynamite, you need to count many other films made by Mormons but not about Mormons. Films like In the Company of Men, or Keith Merrill's nature documentaries. Sure, ND takes place in Idaho and has some cultural jokes that are Mormon influenced, but it's hardly a Mormon themed film.

Saints and Soldiers is borderline Mormon themed as well, mainly because whether or not Corbin Allred's character is Mormon or of another faith is not central to the themes of the film.

For those who haven't seen New York Doll, I highly recommend it.

Bookslinger said...

Captain of the Veggies:

You're right. I threw S&S and ND in there for good measure.

To paraphrase Sesame Street:
"Two of these things are not like the others."

Sarah said...

Bookslinger,

Please, please tell me that "The RM," "Home Teachers," "The Singles Ward," and "The Book of Mormon Movie" are not worse than "Mobsters and Mormons." That was easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It completely redeemed every horrible thing George Lucas has ever inflicted upon Star Wars fans, and justified Steven Spielberg's worst excesses. I would pay money to avoid ever seeing it again, and I say that as a person who just obtained (don't ask me where) a high-quality DVD of the Star Wars Holiday Special. I'm no stranger to pain for the sake of laughs, but "Mobsters and Mormons" went too far.

If it isn't the worst of the bunch, I'm going to have to be really sad for the rest of the week.

Walker said...

Be sad, Sarah. Very sad. What's really sad is that my expectations had been so warped by other Mormon cinema that I found M and M mildly funny in parts. Oy vey.

The lead man in Mobsters and Mormons was slightly below average, making him the talent of Mormon cinema (incidentally, he was not a Mormon).

Sorry if someone out there knows some of the actors in these films. But I figure I'm one to talk--I had relatives involved in Down and Derby--let's hear another oy vey for good measure. Poor Greg Germain--he's digging deep for work these days.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I liked all the movies listed but I think the best Mormon movie is Jack Weyland's Charly.Then it would be The Work and the Glory (1&2). S&S is also very good but don't think you can count that as a "Mormon" movie

Clif said...

Brigham City was easily the worst that I have seen.

As a non-Utah mormon I thought to myself, "there are a lot of people out there with really strange ideas about who we are and what we believe....and I pray that they don't ever watch this movie."