My husband gets thoroughly annoyed with the portrayal of pastors in movies and television. Sometimes I do, too. I wonder sometimes if other professionals get equally irritated by how actors and scripts skew what they do for a living. A few of my favorite pastor examples:
Raising Helen: This movie didn’t do so well, as I recall. Romantic comedies can be hit and miss, though, and this one just didn’t sit right. Ok, I am a big Kate Hudson fan, but the script was just off. In case you missed this one, she plays a single woman whose sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident, leaving her with custody of their three children. Rather than enroll the kids in NYC public schools, she finds a Lutheran school and takes them there. Along the way sparks fly between her and the pastor/principal. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s like they wanted to do something that was close enough to Catholic but the minister could date/marry. So they picked Lutheran. I don’t know of any Lutheran schools that have a pastor as the principal. I could have missed one, but it just doesn’t fit. And I’m sorry, but while I know that Ms. Hudson’s smile could charm any man, a pastor who is focused on serving the Lord is not going to start dating a woman with zero interest in the faith, unless he’s self-destructive.
Seventh Heaven: No list of pastors in film could be complete without this long-running WB series (yes, I know it’s the CW now, but I’m not a fan of the merger with UPN, and the show actually finished the first time with the WB). This one was a show I liked in the earlier years, not so much in the later ones. I realize that pastor’s kids will follow their own paths in life, often making choices that take them far from their parents’ ideals. However, it’s usually not so over-the-top as this soapy-style show made it seem. My husband especially disliked this show, since it wasn’t very realistic about a pastor’s responsibilities and burdens. I always marveled at how much work they did to the parsonage (church-owned home supplied to the pastor) themselves, and how the church let them continue to live in it even when he took a leave of absence that extended into a full-blown resignation. And how on earth did he, the senior pastor, live in that while his daughter somehow as the associate pastor could afford to buy a house next door?
There are many others, but I realized today after reading this blog post, I’m kind of a snob when it comes to these kinds of fiction. I don’t watch them because I assume they’ll be inaccurate. Like “The Preacher’s Wife” and “The Thorn Birds” (ok, that second one is older and it’s about a priest, not a pastor, but still), I just don’t always take the time to watch them because they probably won’t be a reflection of what life is really like.
Anyone out there have a similar experience with your career?