So last week I wrote about seeing Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas. So much hit me that I only covered the first 20 minutes in an attempt at making a Christmas pun by saying there was a lot to unpack. Wocka wocka wocka.
To get you up to speed, the film is about Kirk Cameron (playing himself in more ways than one) telling his semi-Scrooge brother-in-law, conveniently named Christian, that he's wrong about the meaning of Christmas. Whereas his bro-in-law (played by the film's director Darren Doane) thinks we've lost our way, Kirk is there to not only say "you're wrong about everything," but to give Christian a biblical history lesson or two.
As a person raised Catholic, I, like most folks, have a complex relationship with my faith. I believe there is something but I feel arrogant to say that it's God or that He/She/It doesn't exist. I equally have issues with being that affirmative on something I don't fully know. It also comes from a frustration with thumpers of all stripes and their insulting need to mock another's beliefs.
On that note, I'd like to mock Kirk Cameron's beliefs. Or at least the ones he showcases in this film. The ones that equate materialism with good things. The one that he uses to close the film:
"So, this is Christmas. Pull out your best dishes, your finest linens, your nicest silverware, the biggest ham, every side dish you can imagine, and the richest butter. It's time to feast. ... and don't buy into the complaint about materialism during Christmas. This is a celebration of the eternal God taking on a material body. So, it's right that our holiday is marked with material things. Things that we can look upon and touch with our hands."
OK first off, why butter, Kirk? On top of that, why must it be the richest? Kirk Cameron, do you want to give us high cholesterol? What in the hell, Kirk Cameron?
- Images courtesy Camfam Studios
You said don't buy into the complaint about materialism and then you use some seriously specious reasoning. Yes, we may have a material body and we're definitely living in a material world that Madonna Louise Ciccone once sang about, but it's a serious stretch, to me at least, to say that giving each other material things is a great way to express appreciation of Jesus's birth.
I'm sorry but Charlie Brown, a fictional character I love, may have been a sadsack, bummed out fella with a skinny Christmas tree, but he was right to ask, in the face of zombified masses: What is Christmas all about? Linus was right when he talked about Jesus and tidings of great joy.
I'm sorry Kirk Cameron, but a fictional character is more right than you. I apologize, but when someone attacks Chuck Brown, I can get a bit overly sensitive. So you're saying the film's wet blanket/Christian avatar named Christian was wrong? Sure Christian may be a mopey mofo, but at least he continues to ask questions unlike someone I know — ahem, ahem — who seems to think they have all the answers. The main character's unlikable arrogance is one of many of the film's celluloid sins against our Lord Cinema.
- Images courtesy Camfam Studios
One thing I'm going to do, like the editing in the film, is just jump all over the place. I've now watched this film thrice times. It is 79 minutes long, so by my calculations, that means I spent 199 of that 237 minutes with a look of befuddled "am I hearing this correctly?" look on my face. That "The Room of Christmas movies" label I threw out last week doesn't stick for me. The Room is heavily flawed, but you can still find humor in all the awkward sex scenes and line reads. The acting is serviceable in Saving Christmas. The copious amounts of ad-libbing and dramatic pauses seem to be a way to stretch the movie's running time, but still the acting does an OK job. It helps when all the main characters are essentially playing themselves.
It's amazing. After unwrapping a couple very large gifts, I figured I was done. Oh wait, what's that? Do I see more gifts under the Kirk Cameron Saving Christmas tree?
To Be Continued ...
Want to see Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas for yourself? Catch it now on Amazon Prime Video.