The Year of Living Biblically – The Movie

Based on this report from Christianity Today, it doesn’t sound too promising.

Marlon Wayans has been hired to produce and star in the film version of The Year of Living Biblically. This is worrying, for two reasons: First, his surprisingly decent performance in Requiem for a Dream (2000) aside, Wayans is best known for really dumb comedy, whether as a supporting character in movies like Dungeons & Dragons (2000) or as a collaborator with his brothers on lowbrow fare like White Chicks (2004) and the first two Scary Movies (2000-2001). Second, Sammy Davis Jr. aside, black Americans tend to be Christian, not Jewish, and the story of a Christian who tries to follow all of the Bible’s rules is bound to be somewhat different from the story of a Jew who attempts the same. I haven’t read A. J. Jacobs’ book yet, so I can’t say quite how it would be different — but, for example, I have read that Jacobs did not approach the New Testament the same way he approached the Old because, as a Jew, he could not obey the command to follow Jesus. At any rate, it is certainly possible that the film version could clear these hurdles, but for now, I’m not counting on it. — Hollywood Reporter

If you’re not familiar with the book, Ben Witherington gives a good review.  Here’s the main idea:

“Jacobs, a New York Jewish agnostic (he says he is Jewish in the same sense that the Olive Garden restaurant is Italian, which is to say, not much), decides to follow the laws and rules of the Bible, beginning with the Old Testament, for one year. (He actually adds some bonus days and makes it a 381-day year.) He starts by growing a beard and we are with him through every itchy moment. Jacobs is borderline OCD, at least as he describes himself; obsessing over possible dangers to his son, germs, literal interpretation of Bible verses, etc. He enlists the aid of counselors along the way; Jewish rabbis, Christians of every stripe, friends and neighbors.” (from Amazon)

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