Netflix Your Weekend – Donnie Darko

Netflix Your Weekend – Donnie Darko

Netflix Your Weekend

After a long week you want to sit down and be able to watch a quality movie that will make you laugh, cry, sit at the edge of your seat, and have fun.  Netflix Your Weekend is Reel World Theology’s weekly pick for a movie currently available on Netflix Instant that will not only entertain but make you think and engage the story you are watching.  If you have a suggestion for a Netflix Instant movie, email Josh at with the subject line “Netflix Your Weekend”.


NETFLIX YOUR WEEKEND – DONNIE DARKO – dir. Richard Kelly; starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone

This cult classic will tragically never reach the status it should, having come out during 9/11, and featuring a prominent airplane crash as part of the plot line.  However, this movie is one of my favorites and has a deep pathos and human element that is one part commentary on fate and predestination, one part dark comedy, and one part commentary on suburban, middle-class lifestyle.  Being a fan of dark comedy, predestination, and I also grew up suburban and middle class, this movie is naturally a favorite.

Donnie Darko 1

I have turned over this movie in my head so many times and am amazed by the multi-faceted richness and depth of the story.  Donnie’s musings and conversations about fate and time-travel touch the nerve of your human experience and what is created deep within us to seek out that sense that our lives are not all ours to decide or to determine.  This is juxtaposed against the self-help guru Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze), who categorizes all life decisions into the category of fear or love and that we can take control of our life by overcoming fear.  I could get into this commentary as being an accurate depiction of a lot of the self-help gurus out there today and how that is juxtaposed by the belief in a God who controls our fate, but I won’t for the sake of brevity.  Needless to say, this movie is spectacular and deserves the kudos and cult following it has received.  

This is what I love about the movies we recommend here at Reel World Theology.  We want to go beyond the traditional movie-going experience and dig deeper into what makes the films we watch worth watching and the stories our culture tells worth listening to.  Like Fight Club, the topic of our most recent podcast, Donnie Darko has so many revelations that are revealed on a second or even third viewing.  If this is your first time hearing about this movie, watch it once, think about it, then watch it again.  Happy movie viewing everyone!

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