Ted Murphey never thought he’d see the day when his signing of a traditional marriage petition would push his important t-shirt business to the brink of destruction. His gay friend gets angry at him when he reads about Ted’s evil deeds in the local ‘gay newspaper’ and doesn’t want to talk with him anymore. The local gay activist leader raises a ruckus with protests and media attention around the t-shirt business. The store is attacked and the Murpheys are ostracized by the evil gays and their media buddies. With such persecution, how will anyone’s business ever survive?
Production Quality (1.5 points)
Though Accidental Activist has a fine production overall, including good video quality, camera work, and audio quality, it still leaves much to be desired. The soundtrack needs a little more creativity. The sets and locations that are used are fairly cheap and pedestrian. There is also no editing as pretty much all of the content is used, and the film still barely cracks fifty minutes. Overall, though the production looks good on the surface, it’s really hard to find a justification for this film’s creation.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
Similar to Right to Believe, Accidental Activist is basically a collection of long conversations, complaints, and debates over the issue of traditional marriage. However, this film uses borderline propaganda messaging to get its point across. This is done by constructing a very unrealistic premise of persecution and by creating a strawman of the ‘opposition’. Though one gay character is portrayed fairly well, other portrayals are downright embarrassing. All of the dialogue is full of talking points from both sides and does nothing to build believable characters. There is no real plot focus except for the agenda the American Family Association is pushing here. Also, the ‘persecution’ these Christian characters endure is unfairly compared to the chattel slavery that led to the Civil War, and we find this to be a highly offensive suggestion. In the end, Accidental Activist really accomplishes nothing except appealing to a group of Christians that wants to have their ears tickled with this sort of nonsense.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
To be fair, this cast is not horrible and is overall average. Their performances are mostly fine, although they tend to be overdone in their emotions at times. There are also a few too many stereotypes constructed therein. Overall, it comes out as average.
Creating another movie that depicts an us-versus-them mentality in the traditional marriage debate is not the answer. Whipping up support and anger among your base is merely political, not Christ-like. The reality is that American Christians have no idea what persecution even means, even though they eagerly jump to such conclusions when things don’t go their way. Of course the fact that traditional marriage has been altered is a major problem, but it’s a symptom of something deeper that the American church has been reluctant to deal with for decades: the broken Christian family. Movies like Accidental Activist only further drive a wedge between Christians and ‘the world’. We are supposed to be influencing the culture, not battling against it. I think it’s time we take a good look at the state of the Christian family before we go pointing fingers. Only then will things start to change.
Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points