Monday, September 14, 2015

Tani Trashes Terrible Christian Movies: Christian Mingle

[WARNING: This review contains spoilers, but that's only because I watched this movie so you don't have to.]

Here at Unpleasant Accents, we have a long and rich history of drunk book reviews. In that vein, I have decided to start writing high Christian movie reviews. Don’t worry, folks; it’s a totally legal high on my painkillers for EDS, which is good, because to get through Christian Mingle: The Movie, I had to take a few extra ibuprofen. It’s that bad.

The first problem here is the sheer attractiveness of all the people in Christian Mingle. I actually have a Christian Mingle account (through no fault of my own... my friend Em got one for me as a joke), and let me tell you, besides me, there are no really attractive people on that site. You know what kind of people there are? Old people. Really old people. People that you wonder if they’re really just corpses with beer bottles taped to their hands, they look so old. It’s a gathering ground for widows and widowers who want to find someone to live out their remaining years with, praying and praising Jesus together. Which is a cute idea, to be sure, but it doesn’t really fit in with the hip, young, inexplicably perfectly made-up folks in this movie. 

But back to the movie. 

If you can even call it that.

It’s more of a commercial for the Christian Mingle dating website, using people grabbed off the street as actors, who are presumably more drugged than I am. At least, that’s the only explanation I’ve got for the hilariously wooden acting and badly delivered lines. And while we’re at it, the writers were probably high, too, because in what universe is it funny to shove a guy in a sea captain’s uniform randomly into the story, and just explain it away as him being an eccentric boss? Newsflash: If you dress like a sea captain when you are not currently a sea captain, and crack jokes about bad coffee and baldness, you will not be in charge of a successful advertising company. You might be in charge of a high school production of The Pirates of Penzance, but anything more than that is a major stretch. 

Main character (and basically agnostic) Gwyneth is bummed about her lack of dates that revolve around anything but stinky cheese (I kid thee not). She decides to join Christian Mingle after seeing their commercials on TV, so that she can find a nice guy. The sequence where she signs up perfectly shows how very easy it is to join Christian Mingle, and how in-depth their profile creating tool is. Somehow, a guy instantly sees her profile and wants to meet — impressive, seeing as she created a free profile, but if you actually have Christian Mingle, you’d know that you can’t communicate in any way with anyone else on the site unless you buy a paid membership, which can be pretty pricey. You pay $30 for a single month, or $83.94 for six months, for the privilege of talking to old Baptists about how much Jesus has changed your life. But this movie is unabashedly Protestant, and hey, since when have Protestants actually taught the whole truth?

Not since 1517!
At about fifteen minutes in, I realize that Gwyneth is really Gretchen Wieners from Mean Girls, and then I realize that I’ll have to use Mean Girls GIFs as reactions for the rest of the movie, for the sake of geeky integrity. So, here we go.

How many popular but impertinent Christian rock songs can we shoehorn into this movie?
Back in Bland White Christians Find Romance: The Movie, Gwyneth begins dating perpetually flannel-clad Paul. Paul was brought to Jesus through cheese (cheese can’t help if this movie is obsessed with it), which is a metaphor for God’s love. It’s about as subtle as a school bus to the face. Gwyneth BSes her way through Bible studies and saying grace. Paul’s dad says things like, “Well, alrighty then, let’s steak and cake it!” and, “Alrighty to the Almighty!” with a smile on his face and a terrible deadness in his eyes, and it hurts to watch.

Paul and Gwyneth go to Mexico to minister together. Loud, cliché mariachi music alerts you to her arrival, because that’s literally all Mexico is about. The cute little brown Mexicans are so happy for the help, so grateful for having the enlightened white people give them Jesus, totally ignoring that Our Lady of Guadalupe pretty much did that in 1531. And hey, the Mexican actors actually manage to deliver their Spanish lines in a stiffer fashion than the white actors. Probably because they’re too dang pale to be real, ethnic Mexicans.

In Mexico, Gwyneth’s duplicity is discovered and she and Paul break up, and she goes home, throws away her Christian swag, and watches more Christian Mingle commercials that highlight how Christian-y and mingle-y the site is. One commercial finally triggers her realization that she needs to believe in God. She gets her Bible back and opens it to the sound of the whimsical chimes that always play during the magical parts of movies. Magically, she now has perfect faith, because that’s how faith works: instantaneously, and only from reading the Bible. 

Gwyneth then explores relativism with the belief that her new Pentecostal church is just as truthful as Paul’s Episcopalian-ish church, even though they believe totally different things, because religion is about making ourselves comfortable.

She cries during a rainstorm over losing Paul (duh) and then asks Jesus into her life and is officially saved (duh, again.) A little brown child in a tiered skirt and sombrero writes her a letter that is narrated in the absolute worst Mexican accent I have ever heard in my entire life. I am highly offended, and want to bomb this entire movie, because it is the Taco Bell of Christian movies: It's what white people think Mexican life is. In the end, Gwyneth goes back to Mexico to teach and is killed by a drug cartel.

Wait, no, just kidding. She gets Paul back and lives happily ever after. 

The movie then, mercifully, ends.

Damian asked me to write this for him, and I hate him, but:



  1. Bah-hahahahahaha. I mean, I'm sorry you had to take one for the team.

    1. It was really hard to watch. I had to take breaks every few minutes. But hey, it probably counted as my purgatory time?