Gwyneth Hayden is very lonely in life. All of her dates so far have been flops and she is tired of seeing people her age getting married while she still has no prospects. So, in a stroke of desperation, after seeing a television ad for the dating service Christian Mingle, she decides to give it a try. However, she has to bend the rules, since she has never actually become a Christian. Her false persona is successful, however, as she receives a contact from a Christian man about her age. As they meet, Gwyn finds herself actually liking him, thus causing her to sink deeper and deeper into her deception. In the end, will the truth or love win out? Or both?
Production Quality (2.5 points)
Christian Mingle is a very complicated movie to review. For starters, the production quality isn’t really that bad. There are some shades of an independent film feel, but the only real problems pertain to some strange lighting in some outdoor scenes and to some editing issues. The camera work is pretty good. Some of the sets could use improvement. However, some of these errors could be excused if this movie is looked at in a different light.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Box Office Revolution maintains that Christian Mingle is intended to be a satire of Christian films. Corbin Bernsen did not used to be a Christian filmmaker, and it’s possible that this film is based on his experiences within the Christian realm. It is not overtly branded as a satire, but the dialogue, the plot, the character portrayal\development is too obviously bad for it to be anything but a satire. The characters are caricatures: the desperate single woman, the nice Christian guy, the Southern Christian parents, the nice Bible study girl, the crazy boss. There are few Christian themes in the movie, and the ones that are presented are so over-the-top ridiculous that it is satirical. The dialogue is absurdly comedic and there are off-the-wall tongue in cheek references (some of which are actually a bit funny). The biggest problem is its predictable ending that doesn’t fit with the rest of the narrative’s themes, but rather than completely skewer this movie for its horrid nature, BOR chooses to applaud an attempt at satire without completely supporting it.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
After a second look, the acting of Christian Mingle is actually quite ingenious since it adequately portrays how the characters are supposed to be. Some of it is a bit over-the-top and half-hearted, but this is somewhat purposeful. Quite of the few of the cast members actually assume their absurd roles well, but there are also some unrealistic emotions and lazy line delivery throughout that keeps this section from being all that it could be. However, this rounds out an overall above-average effort.
Some may be surprised at the unusually high rating for this film, but BOR at least found it entertaining. What is truly sad is that not only are the events portrayed in this film possible due to online dating services, but that a satire of Christian films is even possible or funny. Christian films should not be a laughingstock, but some of them are—Christian Mingle exposes this. It also shines light on the fact that some have experienced disingenuous behavior among Christian circles as well as unfair expectations to act certain ways in order to be accepted. Despite its formulaic ending, Christian Mingle does offer a fairly good model for how to highlight issues in Christian society through the use of comedy.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points