On her bedside table are two copies of the Bible and Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s .
When Kelly meets Ross, all she cares about—and all Ron cares about, really—is that he’s a sweet kid and a good Christian.
Kelly disliked dating in her teens and was even more wary of secular relationships after her parents’ marriage collapsed.“During this time I thought a lot about marriage and recognizing a pattern among people I grew up with, which was to date and have fun and get divorced if your marriage didn’t work out as planned,” Kelly tells me on the phone. I wanted my marriage to be meaningful and set an example for other people in the community.”Courtship gives her a sense of security.
As Kelly’s spiritual father, Ron has made it his duty to oversee her courtship.
“And for people in the dating scene, they might fantasize about someone presenting them with ‘the one.’ I know I did!
”In the film those experiences are mined through Kelly Boggas, the Wright’s former babysitter and “spiritual daughter,” who has been living with the family for seven years and hopes to find her husband through courtship.
But in New York, political and religious conservatives aren’t just outnumbered; they’re anathema.“It’s so easy to judge someone.
It’s so easy to read something in the paper and say, ‘I don’t like you or I don’t understand you because you believe this.’ I kind of wanted to create this space where there would be different reactions among people who wouldn’t otherwise interact,” says Kohn. Instead, Kohn focused on appealing to viewers—both religious and secular—through universal emotions and experiences.“Religion is divisive, but everyone relates to romance and looking for someone,” she says.
And if God doesn’t like what He sees, He may not bless her with a kind and loving husband.
, which debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, documents an Evangelical alternative to modern dating: Instead of relying on Ok Cupid’s matchmaking algorithms, women and men entrust God to find them an eligible spouse.
We meet the Wright family in their nondescript hometown outside Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Ron Wright runs an educational website promoting Christian courtship, Beforethe
But director and producer Amy Kohn has faith in her New York audience.
“I think they love to see worlds they haven’t seen before,” she says, though she acknowledges the pitbull mentality on both sides of the political spectrum.