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Film / The Rapture

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Itís the end of the world and she donít feel fine.

The Rapture is a 1991 American religious drama film written and directed by Micheal Tolkin and starring Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny.

It centers around Sharon (Rogers), a woman in Los Angeles who works in a boring job by day and lives a swinging lifestyle by night. Finding both empty, she is intrigued when she overhears some coworkers discussing the prophesied end of the world, involving the Rapture where true believers will be taken bodily up to heaven. After learning more, Sharon becomes convinced their belief is true, becoming a born-again Christian. She tells Randy (Duchovny), a fellow swinger, and converts him as well. Six years later, they are married with a daughter and active in their church. However, Sharon's faith is tested when tragedy strikes and her world starts to unravel...


  • Caught Up in the Rapture: The evangelical church Sharon and Randy join believes this will happen. At the end of the film, they're proven right.
  • Central Theme:
    • How much are you willing to sacrifice in the name of your belief?
    • If there is a biblical God is he actually an all-loving Creator or actually an all-powerful dictator?
  • Crisis of Faith: Sharon undergoes one after her husband's senseless murder. It only gets worse from there.
  • Easy Evangelism: Sharon easily becomes a born-again Christian, but it's somewhat justified as she felt her current life was empty. Randy however is also easily converted, though he initially resisted.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: At the end of the movie Sharon and her fellow believers are proven right when the rapture happens.
  • Fanservice Extra: Several minor characters are shown nude or having sex along with the protagonists early on.
  • God Is Evil: Sharon comes to believe this. The film does explore this question; not only believers but atheists get a chance to enter heaven but only if they accept God. Sharon remains in purgatory by her own choice.
  • The Hedonist: Sharon, Randy and the other swingers. Sharon is tired of the lifestyle though and becomes a Christian, bringing Randy with her.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Zigzagged. Randy is initially an atheist who defends his hedonistic swinger lifestyle by saying it's a biological imperative for humans to have sex. Then he converts to evangelical Christianity almost effortlessly when Sharon tells him about the idea. Later, we meet Foster, who says he's been an atheist all of his life but is a normal, morally upright man who converts after seeing really good evidence.
  • Intimate Marks: Angie, one of the swingers, has a tattoo which goes down her whole back and buttocks, which is seen when she's having sex with a man at an orgy. She apparently got it all in one night, and Angie is quite touchy at being asked questions about this.
  • Jerkass Gods: Although not malicious enough to qualify as evil, during the rapture God allows many people including atheists into heaven but he also destroys both the earth and universe and demands love and servitude and withholds peace and happiness from those that donít.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sharon early on is a swinger and shown topless while in sex scenes, often with the focus on her very large breasts.
  • Mundane Afterlife: The purgatory-like place Sharon ends up in is a vast empty, featureless desert.
  • Nay-Theist: Sharon becomes one after her husband and daughter die, believing that God abandoned them.
  • Never My Fault: Sharon comes off this way after murdering her daughter, blaming it all on God.
  • Offing the Offspring: Sharon murders her daughter to hasten her entry to heaven.
  • Pride: Sharon's Fatal Flaw. According to Roger Ebert:
    Everything she does is consistent with the fundamentalist view of how the world will end. There is even an argument for the shocking act she commits, several weeks into her vigil, although of course it is wrong Ė inspired by the sin of pride, of thinking she knows God's plans.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Sharon denounces God after she kills her daughter.
  • Real After All: At first it seems like Sharon's beliefs are destructive and misplaced, causing a terrible tragedy. Then they get confirmed at the end of the film.
  • Really Gets Around: Sharon at the start of the film given her swinger lifestyle, plus her boyfriend, Randy and the other swingers seen. Initially it appears Sharon and her boyfriend spend each night after work cruising around to find other people who they can have sex with.
  • Religion Is Right: At first it seems like Sharon's beliefs are not only wrong, but delusional and destructive. By the end of the film, the rapture really does happen and the believers are proven right. However the film itself is more nuanced on the subject and questions that even if what they believe is true is it morally right?
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Sharon refuses to enter heaven, even if she can see her daughter and husband again, remaining in an empty desert place by herself forever because she refuses to accept God.
  • Suicide Is Shameful: After she kills her daughter, Sharon can't go through with killing herself, due to the belief she'll go to hell rather than heaven.
  • Threeway Sex: Sharon, a swinger, has a threeway early on with a man and woman.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Sharon is basically Job questioning God at the end. Unlike him though, she doesn't reconcile with God.