TGIND - Director's Statement

Most creative people will tell you they grew up wanting to be artists, painters, actors, musicians, etc, but not me. I grew up wanting to be everything. I wanted to be an athlete, a doctor, an explorer, a detective, an astronaut, an architect, and a mermaid. While I didn’t have the specific skill set needed for any of those, I realized at a young age that I could do it all through my imagination as an actor. And later as a director.

Being an actor in my young adult life, I constantly found myself collaborating with my directors, offering creative suggestions that were then implemented, thus beginning my interest in directing. Now, not only am I a director and an actor, but I’ve also found a passion for editing, writing, and producing, all of which make me a better actor and director, and vice versa. Honing and combining these passions and talents into one job, I tell stories, and I call myself a visual storyteller. On top of all of that, I have dedicated my life to using the talents God has given me to share the good news of Jesus through visual storytelling.

I first picked up a copy of “The Guy I’m Not Dating” by Trish Perry in a used media store in Nashville. The pink cover caught my eye as I was perusing the Christian fiction section. The idea of a story about wanting love, but waiting on God’s timing was all too familiar for me to pass up. I bought the book. I went home and read the entire thing in one sitting. One week later, I read it again. Going through the book, visualizing every scene, every line, was such a thrilling experience, especially because it was a story I so loved and admired.

"The Guy I’m Not Dating" is a modern-day, romantic comedy, about a hopeless romantic who, after swearing off dating to trust God’s perfect timing, finds herself on a road-trip with the man of her dreams.  Throughout the film several Christian dating themes emerge, including abstinence, waiting on God, forgiveness, courtship, male/female friendship, seeing past surface-level stereotypes, and the pain of divorce. Diving even deeper into these themes, we address the unique issues that men and women face.

Being inspired by the book, I decided that I had to turn it into a full-length feature film, not just because I loved the story, but because it’s a story that needs to be told to Christian teens, young adults, and singles out there. The world is feeding us devastating lies disguised as the truth about what is acceptable, what is progressive, and what should be the norm. Conversely, from the Church, we’re being told over and over that we should trust God’s timing and pursue Him first when it comes to dating, but don’t have any visual medium in which to learn from and really take that message to heart. The Guy I’m Not Dating fills that void.

The time has come for this film to be made. I’ve spent years studying all the different facets of filmmaking, what I like, what I don’t like, what works and what doesn’t work, preparing myself to create a romantic comedy that is genuinely funny and entertaining, and that appeals to a wide audience of teens and adults.

Visually, I’ve been inspired and influenced by so many romantic comedies over the years, including You’ve Got Mail, Sweet Home Alabama, and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.  My goal is to make this indie, faith-based film look and feel like the major romantic comedies from the 90s to mid-2000s, but with all the perks that new technology provides.

I want the audience to experience so many things when watching this film, from genuine laughter and falling for romance, to seeing God use us even in our lowest of places. While "The Guy I’m Not Dating" is filled with comedy, both intellectual and physical, at its heart, the film addresses serious and life-changing issues. While we may produce the film on a small, indie budget, this wouldn’t be a small, indie film. "The Guy I'm Not Dating" will be so much bigger than any of us. I have been praying that God can use the film in ways we can’t even imagine to further His kingdom. And I truly believe He will. I only get to tell this story once. I’m going to make it right, make it well, and then give it up to God for him to use, all to His glory.

Sarah LeJeune