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Doubting Thomas

By Bobby LePire | June 13, 2018

Calling someone a ‘doubting Thomas’ means that they don’t believe what they are told without concrete, usually tangible, proof. The wording for that specific kind of skeptic stems from a Bible story about the apostle Thomas. He didn’t believe the other apostles, who all claimed that the newly resurrected Jesus appeared before them. Once Jesus shows himself to Thomas, he is told that others have heard, not seen, and still believed.

Whether or not one believes the Bible is true, the idea of a ‘doubting Thomas’ took hold into common parlance. In part, this is due to several artists’ renderings of the event- paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and even a handful of diptychs. Now it refers to a skeptic in the face of mounting evidence.

Doubting Thomas is about Thomas (Will McFadden), Tom for short, and Jen (Sarah Butler) a happily married couple. They are expecting their first child, due very soon. As the expectant date gets closer, Tom gets a big case to work at his law firm. Ron (Jamie Hector), Tom’s best friend, is also working the case. Jen and Ron are also quite close, and he frequents their place for dinner.

“…Tom is Caucasian, as is his wife… he is startled to discover their new baby boy is black…”

One day, the couple catch someone breaking into Jen’s car, stealing her purse. Tom gives chase, and while the culprit gets away, the bag is recovered. While Tom is retrieving the burgled object, Jen goes into labor. Jen leaves a note explaining that Ron gave her a ride. Once he arrives, Tom checks in on Jen. She is fine, and then a nurse introduces Liam (Jace Xavier, Cosmo Jordan, Demi Patton), the baby boy, to the proud new papa.

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  1. Thomas says:

    Doesn’t the fact that Tom declines the paternity test, yet decides to act on his suspicions against Ron feel contrived to anyone here?
    Yeah, humans aren’t “completely logical”, but without Tom’s decision to accept the child’s complexion as a quirk of fate instead of a red flag, the movie as it stands wouldn’t be as dramatic or interesting.
    Why doesn’t Ron point out Tom’s stupidity, or Jen insist on the test anyway?
    Some small changes that could make this better are:
    -Jen refuses the test, insisting that Tom needs to trust her if they have any hope for a happy partnership or a similar rationale; this ratchets up Tom’s internal conflict, while keeping the situation engaging and more relatable
    -Reveal that Jen has Black ancestry earlier to keep things open to interpretation
    -Showcase Tom’s racism subtly and organically, with it being informed by the events preceding; there will be some uncomfortable empathy between him and the viewer regarding potential infidelity, while his emerging prejudice creates conflict on and off the screen
    -Make the conclusion ambiguous, because whether or not Ron is the father, Tom conciously destroys close relationships in paranoia and rage over the (admittedly far more probable, realistically speaking) possibility that he has been betrayed by Jen and Ron.
    I’ll admit, I haven’t actually watched this movie; I just like Zach Cregger and read about it. Maybe all my points are actually addressed in the movie.
    Have a good one

  2. Shauni says:

    The biggest takeaway is examining our hearts and minds to be more racially compassionate. I just found it amazing that finding out your true identity could be so heartbreaking for all parties involved. Having said that, without giving too many details about the film, people should definitely watch this film. Very well written and thought provoking.

  3. Shakeenah Fentis says:

    I am grateful I watched this very, well thought out, movie. It shines a light on the racism that is systemic in White people’s subconscious and conscious minds, leading you to ponder life, humans and race consciousness in a way that touches the heart. All of the acting was impressive (including the priceless expressions of the infant who must have had lots of questions to ask as well, but could not verbalize them yet!) Perhaps this movie will ignite more meaningful conversations on racism in this world… or at least more meaningful introspection that leads to positive change, by those whom are privileged simply by the color of their skin.

  4. Travis Morgan says:

    “where one doesn’t even realize they are bigoted” – I came here looking for a review of the movie to see if it was worth watching. I got that, and I appreciate it, but I just couldn’t leave without addressing your comment in the review. I would argue that Tom’s stereotypical thought that all black kids play basketball in America is absolutely _not_ a bigoted opinion. First, it’s not derogatory and second, it’s not unreasonable (75% of pro basketball players are black). And yet, you and a lot of millennials I know would classify it as such. And consequently, “bigot” becomes so watered-down that anything that isn’t “PC” is considered “bigoted”. I’m going to watch the film, but if it portrays sterotypes (even those that are not negative) as “bigotry”, it’s going to be hard to sit through. There is real bigotry in the world, let’s not give it such a vast sea of meaning to hide in please. That way, when I hear you call out bigotry, I will pay attention because I’ll know you don’t mean a reasonable assumption based on facts, regardless if it is sterotypical.

    • Paula says:

      Thomas’ beliefs seem to be a larger part of the systemic racism we are all taught, not just white people. I am a 6 ft tall black American female that is as unatheletic as possible in skills (in looks many have said I have a swimmer’s body) and I am not the greatest dancer either. I modeled instead. Sports, shoes, or any of the stereotypes Hollywood floats out there, never applied to me and/or my black family. I was valedictorian of the #1 high school in the USA at the time of graduation. I listen to a lot of Kate Bush, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel, Duran Duran, The Doobie Brothers, and The Eagles to name a few musicians I love. And I am a member of a predominantly white sorority (DG)…. Having said that, I got asked by black people all of the time about my black card. I was asked by scouts for the Atlanta Dream basketball team about tryouts. There are numerous times people, ESPECIALLY white people, made assumptions that were COMPLETELY untrue about me based on stereotypes about black people. Assumptions and questions that my counterpart – a tall, attractive, smart white woman would not most
      likely be subjected to. Fellow tall white girls would not be asked if she was into basketball… even if she was athletic! They would ask her if she was into volleyball, modeling, and many other things if they bothered to try to make assumptions.

      If someone would had to guess who they thought was the smartest in the class or school, they probably would have chosen a white or Asian male student, although throughout school it was usually me. Just because a group predominates a certain thing, to assume they are into this or that is CRAZY. Most of horse racing jockeys out there are short white men, but it WOULD NOT cross my mind to assume a short white male is even into horse racing?

    • Bernard says:

      More than 90% of Hockey Players are white. Would it reasonable to say that most whites play hockey? Or would that be a bigoted statement? Surely, most white kids do not play professional hockey and most black kids do not play professional basketball. It’s bigoted.

    • Deb Turk says:

      I agree with Travis Morgan. The basketball remark was not bigoted. Stereotypical, yes. Hateful, negative, no. I also don’t like the way Thomas was made out to be a really bad guy. I’m Black. I would be thrown off quite a bit if my baby was born with blond hair and blue eyes. I think that the movie was really unrealistic in that no one else (the key players) voiced any sort of doubt. EVERYBODY was totally with it. So perfect and accepting. What is this, This Is Us?

  5. Mary Jackson-Freeny says:

    I cannot wait to see this film. Please let me know when it will be shown in Los Angeles. I see this film as a catalyst to change.

    • MovieMaker says:

      It’s playing at Arena Cinelounge, 6464 Sunset Blvd.
      Through tomorrow.
      2 more showings tonight and 3 tomorrow.

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