Christian: Santa…is the man!
Beware: Spoilers may follow
A lot of people can save Christmas, can’t they? Inspector Gadget, Ernest, Felix the Cat, just to name a few. But of all the people to save Christmas this by far the worst person for the job. Like most faith-based Christmas movies, this is not a good movie for several reasons. It was nominated for six razzies and won four of them including Worst Picture of 2014 and received the dreaded 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now even if you don’t agree with reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the truth is, when you receive that dreaded 0%, you’ve done something horribly wrong. So, let’s take a look.
The story involves Kirk Cameron (playing a fictional version of himself) attending his annual Christmas Party with his sister Bridgette. His brother-in-law Christian White (Darren Doane) however is not feeling the festive spirit as he feels the holiday is too commercialized and consumerist and goes outside and sits in his car. Kirk joins him and tells him stories of the Bible and how they actually connect with the ways we celebrate Christmas now.
The way this movie is shot is truly lazy. In the opening we see Cameron drinking a cup of hot chocolate that is clearly empty. All the slow motion and freeze frames pad out the movie’s 80-minute run time and make Kirk’s so-called “wisdom” even more grating. Footage is either stock or recycled, some scenes are just characters staring at each other, and even the sets have limited use.
Pretty much the entire story is set in the car. Christian complains about the way Christmas is celebrated now, Kirk tells him how it’s rooted in Christianity, repeat the process until the end of the movie. So many of Cameron’s attempts to tie so many modern Christmas celebrations to the Bible are either bewildering or downright laughable. Some examples include the cloth Jesus was born and died in, how Genesis mentions the existence of the first Christmas tree with the lampstand in the tabernacle resembling an almond tree, telling how the cross on which Jesus was crucified is a Christmas tree as Jesus was hung similar to how one would hang fruit from a tree (capped off with Kirk telling us to imagine hundreds of crosses when you walk into a Christmas Tree lot), nutcrackers being linked to Roman soldiers, how Santa fits in, etc. Overall the correlations are forced and makes anything Christian complaining about the poor and less fortunate into a strawman argument.
As for the performances they are definitely memorable…but in all the wrong ways. Darren Doane’s Christian White is mostly rambling about nothing past his statement about the poor and less fortunate. Anything Kirk Cameron says throughout this movie is entirely superficial but repeatedly tries to represent himself as a man full of holiday cheer and superiority in Christianity. And David Shannon’s Dionandre is just the stereotypical black guy.
A special mention goes out to the ending of the movie with everyone dancing to a hip-hop version of Angels We Have Heard on High. It is just bizarre with the editing and the horrible choreography. And..you know what no! Words can’t do it justice. I think it’s best if I show you the video.
Overall though everything about this movie is just so fascinatingly wrong from the performances, direction, writing, and editing. It’s just one crudely-made movie. You’d normally think I’d tell you to avoid this movie but to tell you the truth, it’s kind of The Room or Birdemic of Christmas Movies. If you can go into this movie with that mindset it is DEFINITELY worth checking out for how wrong it is.