Richie Chaplin is a mess. He’s struggling to convey meaning in his pastoral ministry. His wife has separate from him due to his depression and sleepwalking, taking their three children with her. His two younger children don’t even know who he is. His older daughter is messing around with a boy. Basically, Richie doesn’t want to be himself anymore. He wants somebody else’s life because his life stinks. He’s forgotten the original purpose God created him for, so he’s about to embark on a wild journey outside of his control to remind him why he is living the life he is living. In the end, he will have to decide whether or not he likes the life God has given him or if he is going to make one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
Production Quality (1 point)
To their credit, at least PureFlix invested in better camera quality than usual for this film. The sound quality is also fine, but these are the only positive aspects of the production of Me Again. Throughout this zany drug trip into the creative faculties of David A. R. White and Tommy Blaze, the camera angles can get dizzying, confusing, and downright amateurish in their attempt to be dramatic or comedic. Cheesy horror effects are inserted randomly and out of context. Low-quality special effects are overused and invasive. The surroundings are painfully obviously reused from Marriage Retreat, suggesting that this movie was borne out of that film’s B-rolls. Finally, all editing sense is thrown out the window as the plot tosses hither and fro with no system or consistency, like they’re just throwing stuff up against the wall to see what happens. Overall, Me Again feels like an experimental film that either accidentally got released or was released to try to glean desperately needed funds. Either way, it doesn’t work.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Few screenwriters venture to create a psychological comedy, and Me Again may stand as a testament as to why. The plot of this film is extremely hard to nail down. After watching an unusual sequence on television two nights in a row, David A. R. White is suddenly transported into an alternate universe in which he gets to become a random rich guy, a model he saw on TV, a goldfish (?!?!), an infant, a housemaid, the teenage boy trying to date his daughter, and finally his own wife. The only real explanations that are offered for this potentially interesting psychological journey are vague and trite inspirational quotes from an offbeat angel character he should have already known about (more on that shortly). The leaps from one impersonation to the next are not only painfully horrible at trying to be funny, but also leave no room for real character development. The dialogue is horrifically childish and often feels adlibbed and impromptu. Yet somewhere in the midst of histrionic displays from A. R. White, including a fake (or not) heart attack, a purposeful makeup disaster, voiceovers for a goldfish and an infant, generally idiotic behavior, self-parodies, and an epic conversation with himself in the alternate universe (perhaps his acting dream), there is some interesting meaning hidden here. If someone was able to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’, then they would view life a lot differently. But this potential meaning is covered up due to time wasted on downright stupidity. This goes without saying that, in keeping with usual White themes, everything is too black and white. ‘Good’ characters are obviously perfect and wise while ‘bad’ characters are complete over the top strawmen, bringing more disgrace to how people think Christians view ‘worldly’ people. Also, solutions to problem are far too easy, trite, and shallow, and offer no real help for people struggling with the real issues presented.
But perhaps the worst element of this entire plot is found in the unusual sepia tone flashback prologue and epilogue. It’s so devastating that it warrants a Box Office Revolution first: a separate paragraph of discussion. The prologue and epilogue are presumably supposed to depict Richie and his wife as childhood sweethearts drinking honeysuckle tea (whatever that is). The epilogue completely undermines the purpose of the plot and suggests that it’s all one big joke. Either that or PureFlix is full of incompetence (probably a little of both). Richie’s wife, as a girl, tells him that she knows they’ll be married one day because the specific angel he later sees on television and has a conversation with in the midst of his psychological adventure told her so. If this is the case, then he should have known what was happening when he recognized the name of the angel. Another alternative possibility is that the entire middle of the movie is just part of the girl’s dream, which suggests that the entire movie is useless. Whatever the case is, this plot is so slipshod and incompetent that we can’t make heads or tails of it. All we know is that it’s an experience we’ll both never forget and never wish to repeat.
Acting Quality (0 points)
As usual, the Whites and their comrades have no restraint or direction in their acting but are content to blurt out lines in ‘funny’ fashions and lazily act their way through another cheap movie full of one-take scenes and adlib behavior. No emotional meaning can be felt here because the acting is so absurd, especially David A. R. White’s zany impersonations of other characters and Tommy Blaze’s generally bizarre behavior. In short, another zero point acting job is business as usual for PureFlix.
If anything was accomplished through this unique experience, it was that a movie like this has never been made before and should never be made again. Unfortunately, any attempt at deeper meaning is so shallow that’s easily washed over with a tide of absurdity. Many elements of this movie seem to suggest that the Whites and company have no grasp on the real world, as they treat important issues too lightly and portray people has completely good or completely bad. It seems like the only purpose of Me Again is to make fun of everything, including themselves, and to waste another good idea. The one merit PureFlix has is an acceptance of creating different types of movies, but in most cases, like this one, they ruin the reputation of Christian movies in unique genres. This is not to mention the fact that Me Again is just another film that makes the name ‘Christian film’ more of a laughingstock. At some point, the creation of this type of nonsense must end and Christian filmmakers must get serious about generating quality content if we are ever going to make a true difference.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points