The Best Two Years is very much a "Mormon movie"—it's about Mormons, by Mormons, for Mormons. The fascinating thing is that it may have real interest for evangelical Christians—especially those who consider the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a non-Christian cult, but may have more in common culturally with Mormons than they ever would have imagined.
This isn't the first "Mormon movie," either. Several predecessors are included in the "Christian" genre at Box Office Mojo—which defines the category as those movies "produced by Christians outside the Hollywood system to promote their principles." Alongside such titles as The Passion of The Christ, Left Behind and Luther, you'll find LDS titles like The Book of Mormon and Latter Day Night Live.
The live theatre tradition among Mormons goes back a long way, and their strong affirmation of performing arts has yielded a niche-market film industry worth paying attention to. Films about Mormons—like The Other Side of Heaven and God's Army—are showing up in neighborhood video stores, which is where you'll probably find The Best Two Years once it finishes its limited theatrical run. (According to the production company's website, it's "Now Playing Across Utah—Coming Soon to Select Cities.")
Some reviewers are cautiously hailing this charming but flawed story as the best Mormon film ever. It's very much in keeping with the spirit of Mormon theatre; in fact, it began as a stage play that was wildly successful with Mormon audiences. It's about evangelism, but it's not primarily evangelistic; it's confessional. Like pageant plays about Mormon settlers making their way to the Promised Valley, this story celebrates the community by giving witness ...1
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The Best Two Years
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