I have been waiting about 6 months for To Save A Life (2009) to finally come out on dvd. It was finally released this week (Aug. 3rd) and I just got around to watching it last night. The movie is about Jake Taylor, a popular senior high school student that seems to have the perfect life--hot girlfriend, full-ride scholarship to The University of Louisville, (due to being an all star athlete) big house, jock friends, etc. But one day at school, his childhood best friend, Roger, whom he has ignored for years because he is not "cool" enough, open fires and kills himself in front of Jake and other students. Plagued with guilt for not being a better friend or seeing the signs, Jake goes on a spiritual journey and begins to reevaluate his life. More importantly, he tries to find the answer to this one question: what does it take to save a life?
Some of you may or may not know this but I am in the teaching field so I deal with kids (ranging from 12-20 year olds) on a daily basis. I found out about this movie back when school was still in session and couldn't wait until I got my hands on it because I was hoping this would be a good movie to show to teenagers. Teen suicide is such a sensitive topic especially in today's society when we hear about tragedies like Columbine or severe bullying that leads to kids feeling alienated and desperate to be heard (such as teenager Phoebe Prince's sad story).
To Save A Life is a movie that not only covers teen suicide but topics like bullying, peer pressure, teen drinking, cutting (as in teens that cut themselves), the effects on teens in single parent homes, the effects on teens whose parents are going through a divorce, pregnancy, Christianity, spiritualism, and I will even go as far as to include interracial relationships. For a 120 minute movie, it covers alot of issues that teens, parents, AND teachers go through and should look out for in their daily lives.
The only thing that I want to caution viewers about is that this movie does get a little "preachy" so if you are a teacher that is thinking about showing this film to your students you might want to be careful on how you go about it. I myself got a little tired of the constant push towards Christianity. However, I do know that a teenager's life is filled with questions and self exploration so it doesn't surprise me that the topic is brought up. I just wasn't expecting it to be one of the main themes of the movie. So for all you teachers out there, this is definitely a movie students should see but tread carefully.