This movie is a unique experience, and it incorporates a solid performance from two of the main actors, Dara Emery as the reporter, and Noah benShea as “Noah.” Directed by Gev Miron, the film is about a fictional baker named Jacob, who gives spiritual advice to people who write to him, as if he’s real. Actually, Noah is the one behind Jacob and his goal is to help people get through their hardships.
The film opens with the female reporter getting a call which wakes her up, to cover the interview with Noah and his fictional counterpart, Jacob. She tells her supervisor on the phone that she wants hard news stories, not the “feel good” ones, and that she feels that what she does is more than a career, that it’s a “calling.” She wants her supervisor Frank to give her a “real story” and she says, “I’m dying here.” She says she will take the story but plans to keep asking for the hard news and breaking news stories.
She is running late but manages to meet with Noah, the creator of “Jacob the Baker.” There have been a series of books about Jacob, and Noah gives the reporter the background. Jacob, the fictional character, works at a bakery, and constantly writes notes to himself to help him manage his life and to get through the day. He’s a compassionate young man and he writes one note that winds up in a woman’s bread. She is intrigued and she winds up meeting Jacob, who speaks of praying and, Noah says, Jacob is trying to be a source of strength. Noah receives letters from around the world for Jacob, asking for his advice. The reporter asks Noah, “What is he – Santa Claus?” Noah replies that Jacob is there to help people at their point of vulnerability. He says that people deal with their weaknesses and sometimes fall, and Jacob is there to help. “In many ways Jacob and I are the same character,” says Noah. “But I have flaws.”
People with various backgrounds write to Jacob. One is a new mother who is raising her son by herself as the father has moved on. She writes an unusual line, by saying, “Now I know that if you want to give God a good laugh, tell HER your plans.”
She wants to be the mother that she never had, and she hopes to find fulfillment. She writes from Milan, saying she is a mother in need of mothering. Noah makes a good point about raising a child, stating that the average child will fall 300 times before they learn to walk. “Don’t let your kids confuse falling with failing,” he says. He tells the mother that inside every parent is a child, needing to be loved. He also attempts to help a man who is in a lifeless marriage, and the man winds up cheating on his wife. He wonders if there is any hope. Another man, in Israel, having served in the military and as a police officer, battles with drinking and taking pills. And still another person is struggling with debt.
There are several things to think about regarding this film. On the one hand, several good and inspiring statements are made, such as, “Give love if you want to receive love,” and “Give your children your time.” Noah says that people will get knocked down, but they will stand up again, and “carry on.” And Noah speaks about future generations, and kissing one’s children, not so that they will return them, but that they might one day kiss their own children. And that sometimes life will rain hard on a person.
There are scriptural comments, such as the man battling the bottle and who is in despair, and he writes, “I am David without a stone in the valley of despair.” And, also, Noah mentions Jesus and the Golden Rule, and he mentions praying. However, one concern is when the character of Noah promotes other religions, such as the Islamic caliph, saying if you want the blessings of Allah, show kindness. Then, the Buddhist who shows kindness, and that people of all faiths are one faith if they show kindness. As Dove holds to Judean/Christian beliefs, this one statement that all faiths can be one faith does, in our opinion, negate the necessity of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. As important as kindness is, Christ’s sacrifice is even more important. Unfortunately, we believe the movie falls short in making that clear.
The movie’s emphasis on caring and showing kindness is to be commended. Parents who would watch this movie with their children should have a discussion about the importance of kindness, and also of Christ’s sacrifice. This film has been “Dove Reviewed.”
THE DOVE TAKE: This film focuses on kindness and is a good lead-in to discussing Christ’s kindness and love and His sacrifice on the cross.