"Another Shallow, Anti-Christian Stereotype"
What You Need To Know:
DRIVING LESSONS clearly sides with Ben's rebellion and sexual experimentation, and with Ben's father, who preaches works righteousness from the pulpit. Sadly, the filmmakers turn Ben's mother, the strongest Christian character, into a stereotypical, one-dimensional villain. Thus, although the acting is excellent, the movie's worldview is an abhorrent, politically correct, immoral, and anti-Christian attack on God's Love.
(PaPaPa, FRFRFR, AbAbAb, PCPCPC, C, B, H, LL, V, S, AA, D, MMM) Very strong pagan worldview in coming-of-age story sides in favor of a false religion, including a vague form of works righteousness (which is a heretical kind of universalism), preacher supports a radical, heretical theology of free will, and sexual exploration before marriage by young people, plus very strong anti-Christian content includes movie portrays strict Christians as mean, hypocritical enemies in a very strong politically correct way that presents an extremely false, negative stereotype of Christian Evangelicals and back-sliding Christian teenager says an obscenity to a teenage girl who tries to cheer him up and inspire him with Christian advice, some positive Christian content and light moral elements that may help some people who see the movie, though it's not likely, and woman expresses a humanist disbelief in God; 18 obscenities (including a couple "f" words and a couple uses of the English slang "bloody"), one strong obscenity, two light profanities, and vomiting in one scene; light violence includes it is implied that car hits woman and puts her into the hospital; young woman has implied intercourse with 17-year-old boy who tells her he's 18, implied adultery, elderly man dresses up as a woman, and kissing; no nudity; 17-year-old gets slightly tipsy on alcohol; smoking; and, brief lying, deception, broken promise, non-believer gets carried away and delivers a rousing and inspiring sermon during a Christmas pageant and a revival breaks out among the attendees (scene is done in a comical manner which may spoil the message), and Christian character carries the Name of the Lord in vain.
DRIVING LESSONS is a British comedy about a teenage Christian boy and his domineering, conservative mother, who come into conflict when the boy finally begins to rebel. The movie clearly sides with the boy’s father, a vicar who preaches works righteousness, and the boy’s sexual experimentation. Also, strong conservative Christians are seen as mean, hypocritical enemies of the human race. These things are abhorrent to the God of the Bible.
Rupert Grint, who plays Harry Potter’s friend Ron in the HARRY POTTER movies, stars as 17-year-old Ben. Though nearly 18, the shy Ben is completely under the thumb of his mother, Laura, played by Laura Linney. Laura is a strict Evangelical who’s enamored with their church’s music leader, another earnest Christian who clashes with Laura’s husband, Robert, the church vicar. Robert is a meek pastor who can’t communicate with his own family and preaches work righteousness at the church. Robert has withdrawn from his family into a fascination for bird-watching. Of course, if Robert truly were into preaching work righteousness, he would be a much more active figure than pictured here.
While other children are on summer vacation, Ben attends Bible classes, takes driving lessons from his overbearing mother, and helps his mother at an old folks home. Ben’s straight-laced world is turned upside down when he gets a job assisting Evie, an eccentric retired actress played by Julie Waters. Evie drafts Ben as her partner in a series of adventures. They culminate in a road trip to a camping site and a literary festival in Edinburgh, where Evie’s scheduled to give a reading.
On the trip, Ben discovers his manhood with a young seductive college student, but he gravely disappoints and fails the insecure, childish and vulgar Evie. Back home, Ben’s mother humiliates him by making him play a demeaning role in the church’s Christmas pageant. Only Evie can save the day and set Ben and Ben’s father free from this harpy, who also turns out to be a moral, spiritual hypocrite.
Although the acting in DRIVING LESSONS is excellent, the plotting needs work, especially in the middle. Also, the characters don’t always make sense, and the direction is serviceable but not outstanding. Furthermore, if the mother in this movie were not such a negative, false and one-dimensional stereotype and the father not a weak heretic, DRIVING LESSONS could have been more biblical, more inspiring, less shallow artistically, and perhaps even redemptive. Sadly, the filmmakers not only turn the strongest Christian in the story into the villain, they also side with the father’s rank heresy, as well as Ben’s sexual dalliance with the college student. Thus, the movie’s dominant pagan worldview is an abhorrent, politically correct, immoral, anti-Christian attack on God’s Love.