Yearning for Wonder, “Something, Anything”

If you’re looking for a good Christian movie that would work well as a discussion starter for a thoughtful group, look up Paul Harill’s Something, Anything (which is available on Netflix streaming).

While the trailer gives you the tone of this film, it doesn’t spell out the story. Peggy, the woman whom you see agreeing to be married, hits a wall when her first child is miscarried. The grief overwhelms her, causing her to question herself and her lifestyle. In the trailer, you see one of her friends asking her what she wants. In the movie, that friend recommends she try to have another child and recognize her role as a wife. Life, she says, is about pleasing a husband, raising children, and supporting them so that they can repeat the cycle of marriage and child-rearing. Peggy used to accept that, but now it all rings hollow, and she doesn’t know what to believe.

So we watch a normal, East Tennessee woman leave one life for another, exchanging a self-centered materialistic life for one that may have moments of wonder, like synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains.

One wordless scene appears to capture the entire story of “Something, Anything.” Peggy and her husband, Mark, are preparing to move, and he finds the journal she has been pouring her heart into throughout her spiritual journey. Mark picked it up and began to read a page, when Peggy saw what he was doing. She stands in the doorway, silently open to talking to him about what he read, but he just puts it down and walks out. The two of them were living in completely different worlds at that point, and Mark wasn’t curious enough to ask her about hers. He wanted a comfortable, worldly life; she wanted eternity.

I liked this slow, quiet film, and it will provoke discussion in an attentive group with its references to worldly comforts, Thomas Merton, monastic life, and the Sermon on the Mount.

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