Monday, April 23, 2007

A Dutcher Question

Richard Dutcher's first Mormon film, God's Army, earned over two million dollars. My question is this: If his second film, Brigham City, had earned three million and his third film, States of Grace, had earned four million, is there any chance in hell that he would now be leaving Mormonism?

I doubt it very much. He'd still be in the game, gearing up for his long-rumored Joseph Smith biopic. While he has downplayed the role of his filmmaking in his decision to leave Mormonism, I'm sure it plays a big role. And he hasn't really given any other good reasons, just general hints at spiritual journeys and such.

Of course, what really happened was that the box-office grosses of Dutcher's Mormon movies went farther south with each successive movie, which must have been very painful after all the efforts and sacrifices he made for his films. In fact, the timing of his leaving-the-church announcement came soon after the time when he probably finally admitted to himself that DVD sales weren't going to be enough to save States of Grace.

By the way, I personally feel that his films got better with each one, and I personally am quite disgusted and disappointed with the Mormon audience for not responding better, although I'm not surprised. But that still doesn't justify leaving the church.


Anonymous said...

I think you're 100 right with this. If his movies had done well at the box office (or DVD sales were good) I think he wouldn't have been as tempted to embark on his spiritual journey.

Darvell Hunt said...

Amen, Chris. Well stated.


Unknown said...

If NetFlix has taught me one thing, it's that you and I have very different taste in movies. And not just because of all those Scooby Doo movies you seem to be so very, very into...

I really thought all the praise given Dutcher's movies was ill-founded. I came away from each of them thinking, well, "not bad for a Mormon movie". I don't think they hold up well to an out-of-culture criteria set. (And God's Army 2 just felt *lost* to me, then that ending, so predictable, sappy, overstated, and exactly the same as Brigham City...)

Yeah, so if NetFlix has taught me anything else, it's that my brother also likes some weird movies.