Working on a Nouwen Movie

Last night I thought of this tweet:

Working in a movie for edgy, thoughtful Catholics+Quakers. So far I only have Act2, line 1: “Henri Nouwen, mutherf*ckrz; that’s how.”

It’s a silly thing that 2 of you may find chuckle-worthy. Henri Nouwen wrote a lot about the spiritual life… I read a lot of his books and liked him a bunch. His thoughts were exceedingly gentle and loving and real. That’s why I shat my pants when I thought of this line.

But man, can you imagine a movie where that’s the turning point? So awesome…


[Act I: Semmity is a mellow and cheerful town. At the center of the town-folk is ultimately the pastor who's a good guy and has shit-tons of Parker Palmer books and says things like, "you're going to be okay; relax and have some of this fabulous wine. Oh, and here's a copy of Clowning In Rome."]

[Act II: Russians show up. Also, the following takes place.]

Jeffrey (the stoney, gentle, good at video games but doesn't rub it in when he wins type): “Fuck man, how are we going to stop these russians from ruining our soil and overpopulating our town and being just generally all irritated and unhappy and eating too much and hating gay people!?”

Chazz (the kid who moved around a lot, who's mostly cynical, but great at making people like him and ultimately a thoughtful guy... he never bought into the whole "spirituality" thing, thinking it's more prone to developing good mechanics than artful drivers... so it's a big deal when he says this): “Henri Nouwen, mutherf*ckrz; that’s how.”

[Montage scene of Chazz organizing people, talking to people, drawing in the dirt, inventorying supplies... Lots of scenes follow, mostly MacGyver type stuff, but all of the ideas are taken from thoughts in Henri Nouwen's books; the whole town is surprised by Chazz's knowledge of these books... turns out he really IS thoughtful! The last scene defeats the Russians using shitloads of "Clowning In Rome," the book, like, several thousand copies of the actual hard-cover book that the pastor had hidden away in his study. Most Russians leave, some stay, opting-in to learn more about the quiet good life in Semmity.]