I’m Just Saying: know what you believe

by Brianna Anderson

When five college students get together for a school project about religion, the assignment turns into a night full of revelations and confrontational conversations. Together they discover the importance of knowing what you believe and why. The film “I’m Just Saying,” directed by Brian Douglas, is based off his same-titled novel and was produced by Traverse Entertainment, L.L.C.

Douglas career in the television, film, and music industry started with his involvement with A&M Records as their Promotion Representative. He worked alongside big names such as

Sheryl Crow, Soundgarden and Ice Cube, as A&M’s liaison for global record labels. Douglas eventually went on to be a manager for Hallmark Channel.

“I’m Just Saying” is Douglas’ first full-length feature film. The story is mainly dialogue-based, the characters conversations range from their differences in opinion about men and women, to their beliefs about sexuality, politics and religion.

A group of five students are gathered together in serious discussion.  While initially their relationships are unknown, the film eventually shows audiences the deeper connections each character has to another.

Sky, played by Eric Lewis, and Eden, played by Jen Bailey, have been friends forever and even dated each other.  However, since their breakup there is tension between them. They pretend to act civilly toward each other during the discussion, but Sky has something important to tell Eden.

Meanwhile flirtatious Rene, played by Michael Galvez, tries to get closer to the newcomer Sylvia, played by Leigh Dunham. Tyler, played by Rhiann Woodyard, is the only gay individual in the group; she tenaciously challenges Sylvia on her religious world views.

The only action between the characters happens in their heated discussions about religion and the right to be gay, or the hypocrisies they see in each other’s romantic relationships. The two characters who progress the most are Sky and Eden. Throughout the film the two of them test each other. It is clear to everyone in their group of friends and the audience that they are still in love.

The amount of widespread topics the groups of college students discuss is somewhat unrealistic since the film takes place in one day. But the issues and questions they raise are interesting based on their differences in the foundation of their beliefs.

Stereotypes are evident within each of the characters, presumably to make a point.  Sky is the know-it-all sarcastic group member. Eden is a gorgeous tree-hugger. Rene is somewhat more conservative than Sky, but just as provocative.  Sylvia is conservative and slightly religious. Tyler is passionate about accepting herself after the stuggles she’s faced for being gay. Overall the film is worth watching and is unique in how it points out the hypocrisies of claims we make in living out our beliefs.

Douglas’s film won many awards including Director’s Choice and the Bronze Medal for Excellence, in the Park City Film Music Festival, 2010.  The soundtrack includes musical talents from The Green Car Motel, Forty Marshas (Goo Goo Dolls’ Mike Malinin), and Charm The Moon.

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