4 July 2004 | rptmaestro
Well worth watching
Being in the theatre and film industry myself, I've generally been critical of cheesy LDS comedies, but The RM was not cheesy. Almost all of the humor is based on exaggeration, some of it more exaggerated than others. The contrast between Relief Society and Elder's Quorum meetings, however, was almost right on the mark, right down to the doily on top of R.S. radio and the E.Q. instructor's plea to have someone read the first 6 pages of the lesson. Having grown up in the Idaho-Utah LDS culture myself, I found much of the humor about LDS culture delightful; though I expect that members of the church from other states may miss the humor that is aimed almost exclusively at the Idaho-Utah culture.
The RM fits into the farce genre, which does not require realism, depth of character, or a poignant moral, so if the viewer goes into the theatre expecting any of these, he or she is going to be disappointed.
My one criticism is that the film, perhaps in its attempt to portray the humorous elements of LDS society, comes across as cynical in many scenes, and the more critical LDS viewer may find this offensive. For example, contrary to the film's depiction, Elder's Quorums do have many elders who bring their manuals, who diligently prepare lessons, and who faithfully perform their home teaching--even in Idaho and Utah. It is doubtful this perceived cynicism is intended, and it is more likely that it is merely the byproduct of the film's attempt to maximize humor.
My wife and I found the film delightful. We found it far more entertaining than most of the comedies that prevail in movies theaters today--most of which are also farces, but that, despite their multi-million dollar casts, maximize humor with cheap sexual references, foul language, and cynical views of the America and the family and leave us feeling that we need to scrub our eyes and ears with a Brillo pad. Watch The RM. It's well worth your time.