I dread the question. It often comes up when conversation between acquaintances has stalled? I suspect it is a second hour staple of blind dates.
“What are your five favorite films?
I have been asked this enough times that I have developed a fixed list. And, to be honest, there is a movie on the list that I find embarrassing. But the more I think about it, the more certain I am that Jerry Maguire has to be on the list. Now Jerry Maguire is essentially a romantic comedy for dudes. It doesn’t seem like it belongs on the same list as Braveheart and Fight Club. But I have thought about why I like this movie so much and figured out a one sentence answer.
“I love Jerry Maguire because the wedding happens in the middle of the movie.”
Most romantic comedies end with the wedding. In fact it is common for the wedding montage to happen during the credits as kind of an afterthought to the actual story of how these crazy kids overcame their neuroses and finally got together. The problem I have with this formula is that anyone can ‘fall in love.’ The story doesn’t get interesting until after the wedding. Sustaining love after chemistry…that is the real drama. So many romantic comedies work so hard to generate some contrived obstacle to keep the lovers apart for the second act. But the ultimate obstacle to narrative love is familiarity…time…boredom.
 Brave Heart, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Millions, Jerry Maguire
 In its defense, it is relatively well written, the acting is great and it was perfectly cast.
 You have got to love a book whose hero is a Civil Engineer. OK, well, maybe you don’t, but I do. On a side note, it is notable that Nehemiah is not a religious professional. He is a dude with a job. God doesn’t check where a person paycheck comes from before he chooses to use them.
 Chapter 3 goes out of its way to point out that some of the people wielding ‘swords and trowels’ came from such hard labor backgrounds as ‘Bible scholar, priest, goldsmith and (everyone’s favorite) perfume makers.
 If you read Ezra 4 and 5 (Ezra and Nehemiah are one book in the original text) on the backdrop of the historical and political milieu it reads like a serious legal drama where those trying to rebuild Jerusalem are shut down for over 10 years by what amounts to a cease and desist order.
 And a footnote in the classical sense, not in the way I use them in this blog.
 Dan, my co-teacher, said about this “If you are feeling a let down by the anti-climax of the completion of the wall…you are on the right track.”
 Cue Denny Green “They were(n’t) who we thought they were.”
 This is foreshadowed in chapter 5 where the poor of the movement are being exploited by their more resourced members of the movement to build the wall.