Have you ever met a person who seemed so wise it was unbelievable? Who always knew the exact thing to say at just the right time? Or was always right… but the most humble person you ever met?
Such is man called Jonathan Sperry.
The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry is a tale set in a small town around the 1970s. A group of young boys about twelve years old have a couple problems. There is a town bully for one thing, and one boy (Dustin is his name), has a hopeless crush on a girl who works at the local diner. One day, mowing the grass, these boys meet Mr. Sperry, and together work to mend these troubles that seem so great to boys of that age.
Things I liked:
This movie is explicitly Christian. Bible verses are referenced throughout the film. Christlike principles of loving your enemy and compassion are encouraged. And we also see the benefits of shamelessly spreading the gospel of Christ to anyone we meet. Seeing these things in a movie was refreshing and enjoyable, while not over the top and maintaining a balance.
I also liked the boys in the film itself. I remember what it was like to be twelve, and this movie captures it quite well. The boys do a very good job at acting, and some parts are quite humorous, as I remember similar situations from that time past.
Mr. Sperry fills a lacking father role in several of the boy’s lives. It shows how hard it can be to grow up without a father to consult about important matters or just eat a pizza with… It presented the positive changes one man can have if he just gets involved in a boy’s life. Something lacking more and more in our culture.
There is a whole crush/relationship scenario with dustin and the Young waitress. I really like the way they presented approaching a relationship from a biblical point of view. Plus, the ribbing from Dustin’s friends, and his nervousness was very nicely written and played out, so it was funny to watch that whole dynamic.
Things I didn’t like:
Since this is an independent film, the quality of the movie is lacking. Mainly in editing taste. Several times watching the movie I thought “Okaaaaay, enough street shots. Or We get the scenery is nice…” So, the movie does drag in places.
The acting by the boys and Mr. Sperry is quite good, but everyone else is just soso.
My Closing Thoughts
When I choose this movie from Netflix to watch with my family, I honestly expected it to be pretty boring, and had my mac out to work on should the movie be as I expected. It turned out, I not only watched the entire thing, but liked it a lot. No, it doesn’t have guns, explosions, or incredible special effects…
Rather, “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry” tells us a simple story about boys growing up in a time where TV and video games didn’t dominate every spare moment. It tells a story we can all relate to in some way or another, and gives principles we can apply to our own life and walk with Christ.
But most importantly to me, it shows that just because you are old or young, it doesn’t give you the excuse to stop working for God’s kingdom. God can use any Christian, at any age, to make an impact for His glory. There was a quote that summed this idea up nicely: “You know, if you just keep telling folks about Jesus, sooner or later, one of em is going to listen.”
Combine that core message with a funny group of young boys, and an old man with the same sense of humor…
You just might learn a few secrets from old Mr. Sperry… Just like I did.