Day 175: Driving Lessons and Jesusland by Ben Folds

6 Dec

Hey everyone!

So today’s post features two things that I love love love love.

But before I say anything I’d like to point something out: I myself am not the most religious person. In fact, I try to shy away from the topic of religion (due to some very difficult conversations in the past). It’s not something that’s a part of my life, like many people. But I tolerate every religion, and in fact I think religion is a fascinating subject.

So, for the sake of this blog and all that it’s about, please don’t get all huffy about this song or subject. I think everyone has a fair right to their opinions, and besides it’s just a song!

Anyway, on to the blog post!

Rupert Grint is (now) a well known actor from England. If you can’t identify his name, you’d probably know him as this handsome fellow in the internationally popular series:

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley from Harry Potter

Yeah, you know the one…

Well, surprisingly, Rupert Grint’s career has skyrocketed in the film industry over his actor and actress counterparts. He has now starred in two films (one of which I’m focusing on tonight) and is well known for being a very dramatic actor.

But the movie Driving Lessons (2006) is one of my favorite movies that he stars in (outside of the Harry Potter series). The movie takes place in a suburb of the UK, where Ben, a shy 17-year-old, tries to find a summer job to help him get his license. His overly-Christian mother (played by Laura Linney) controls his life, but when he meets “Dame” Evie Walton (played by Julie Walters), his whole life changes. It’s a story about living life to the fullest, pausing to realize the beauty around, and questioning one’s self.

There are two things that I have to say about this movie.

First and foremost, not only is it shockingly adorable, but it fits right into the theme of this blog. Evie is an older woman who wants to have fun in her life. Ben is so shy and sheltered, he doesn’t know the meaning of fun… which is why the two together make such a great pair.

One of my favorite parts of this movie happens about half-way through. As the caretaker of this older woman, Ben is sort of forced into going camping with her in the countryside. As they go through the green trees, Ben is focusing all his energy in driving the green car (which he does not know how to drive). In the meantime, Evie sticks her head out of the window and yells (pardon my French): “It’s so fucking green!!”

This is just one of many moments throughout the movie where the scenery is focused on. Evie teaches Ben to live life to the fullest, to admire our surroundings because they are a gift in of themselves. And I took that message to heart.

Unfortunately, I could not find the clip from the movie, but hopefully you will watch it and see what I mean.

The second thing I want to say is this: there are many movies with great music, and this one falls into that category. The soundtrack is riddled with Sufjan Stevens (the emphasis), Ben Folds, and scottish/latin/ska music that just wins!

For the blog, I wanted to feature the Ben Folds song “Jesusland” from the movie. Now, in the context of the movie, it is pretty self-explanatory… Ben lives in a very Christian family, and battles with the dimensions of his religion as he develops a friendship with Evie.

But the lyrics to the song discuss a suburban paradise. It’s a gorgeous song, and the music-video, while simple, is outstanding!

So enjoy “Jesusland” by Ben Folds. Also, check out Driving Lessons. It’s a great movie and will make you smile!

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