[01.09.09] Texas megachurch pastor and popular author T.D. Jakes is already
garnering critical acclaim from secular media for his latest film
Jakes said Not Easily Broken, which opened in theaters nationwide on Friday, is a realistic depiction of marital strife, while also offering Christ as the solution. With divorce rates in the U.S. at record highs and the idea of the family deteriorating, he said the film challenges families of all backgrounds to make God the center of their home.
“I think it's a message about family, about marriage and some of the struggles that you face in a marriage,” said Jakes, the senior pastor of 30,000-member The Potters House in Dallas. “And it encourages people to fight through those struggles and to persevere and that our marital relationships are certainly worth fighting for.”
Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson star in the film as “Dave” and “Clarice,” a couple struggling through their second decade of marriage marred by tragedy, meddling parents and adulterous temptations.
Though Jakes says the movie is not necessarily a “faith” film, he says it is rooted in the Word of God. He adapted the film from his 2006 novel of the same name. Its title, Not Easily Broken, was based on Ecclesiastes 4:12, which speaks of a three-fold chord that is not quickly broken. Jakes says he tried to show the audience that God must be the third chord if a family unit is to be successful.
The Texas pastor says his personal experiences as a husband of 27 years and his 30 years of counseling couples, has helped him create a realistic film with relatable characters. Jakes believes the film may have garnered its PG-13-rating for its portrayal of the real-to-life characters, despite the absence of sexual scenes and gratuitous language.
“What we tried to do is keep it real enough that when people come and see the film they recognize that a bunch of guys in L.A. playing on the basketball court are not gonna say ‘golly buddy toss me the ball,’” Jakes told Charisma. “You have to walk a tight rope between keeping it real, and yet not becoming just like the world.”
Jakes is the author of several books including, Women Thou Art Loosed, which was also on the silver screen in 2004. He sees his latest film as another avenue to reach the lost for Christ. “Jesus said 'Go into all the world.' Going into all the world doesn't mean a camel and a pair of sandals today, but it means invading the Internet,” Jakes said. “It means using the telephone; it means using the iPod. It means using the computer, and the silver screen becomes a way to go into all the world.”