14 February 2016

Quickie Movie Review: "Joni"

Rated: PG (for unspecified reasons)
Starring: Joni Eareckson Tada, Bert Remsen, and Katherine DeHetre
Released: 1979
Synopsis: Joni Eareckson (played by herself) was an average teenage girl...until one day, when, at the age of seventeen, a diving accident left her paralyzed from the neck down.  Learning to adapt to her new situation was hard enough, but Joni must also deal with the spiritual ramifications as well: How could God allow this to happen to her? A true story of tragedy and triumph, faith lost and found, and the power of family.

My Review: I hate to give this movie a bad review, because I've known the story of Joni Eareckson Tada all my life; my mom even had the book that inspired this movie when I was a kid.  However, I did not enjoy this film.  It spends too much time on unnecessary details of Joni's life, only to finish up with a rather sudden conclusion.  I have nothing against Mrs. Tada; I just wish the story of her life had been handled better.  Despite this being a classic Christian film, it did not make for very good viewing fare.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing and talk of romance being "more than what happens below the neck". 4/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guys; the camera seems to linger on a girl in a bikini; girls are seen in low-cut outfits occasionally; Joni spends much of the first half of the film wrapped in a sheet. 3/5
  • Language: Name-calling, and two or three usages of the n-word (though that is vilified). 3/5
  • Violence: A diving accident with lasting results; a girl uses her wheelchair to trip a nurse. 4/5
  • Drugs: A reference to smoking weed; cigarette smoking is occasionally seen. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Emotional intensity throughout. 1/5
Score: 1.5/5

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