A Surprising Faith-Based Film

 

I’m not sure I’ve made up my mind about Christian dating websites, and I’m sure some of you know someone who had successes and failures while trying to meet the special someone online. However, that’s not the point of my story here.

Recently, my wife and I watched the movie Christian Mingle, which is based on the dating website of the same name. Whether or not it’s a loose representation, I’m not aware since I don’t know much about the site. However, I found myself not only laughing heartily at much of the humor the writers inserted into the script, but also being genuinely pleased at the outcome.

Most of the faith-based films I’ve seen are fairly cheesy, and they don’t seem to portray a realistic view of Christians, dialogue between the typical American Christian and the typical non-Christian, or even conversion itself. Christian Mingle, in my opinion, did all three.

I found that it wasn’t only humorous in a general sense, but also because of the situations and dialogue that were slightly overdone, perhaps in an attempt to show more of a contrast between Christians and non-Christians. For example, in one scene, the two main characters who meet on christiangmingle.com, are eating at a restaurant after church with the guy’s family. I’ll try not to give too much away, but the girl he is dating is asked to “say grace”, which she has apparently never done before (but acts like she is very willing to do). When she finishes, it appears she doesn’t know to say “amen”, nor does she appear to even think of a tactful way to let them know she’s done praying. The rest of the clan feels the need to wait until she’s said “Amen” before opening their eyes, so the girl is left adding several random things to her prayer for a few minutes. As if most people don’t know to say “amen” after a prayer in the 21st century! I also laughed at other lines that are used in the dialogue, which are funny simply because it’s probably what a lot of non-Christians expect to hear from Christians, even though it’s not reality.

One thing which I thought was fascinating happens at one point in the film when the mother of the potential groom is talking with him on the phone, hoping he’ll listen to her words of hesitation that’s something’s “off” about his potential sweetheart. He responds by saying that he’ll prove that his date is on the up and up, and as the story plays out, you eventually find out who was right.

I also appreciated how the writers put together the conversion aspect of one of the characters. It wasn’t someone folding their hands and praying a prayer for salvation, but rather an honest thought process about what it means to be a Christian.

I identified, to a degree, with the lead guy who, at the beginning of the film, seems to be almost super-Christian, as it were. I acted that way growing up in church when I thought I was more righteous than other people. In one sense, it’s comical to see that being played out.

On a final note, towards the end, both characters are confronted with problems they aren’t expecting, and both their initial reaction and post-reactions are intriguing.

Hopefully I’ve given you enough fodder to peak your interest. The rest of the story you’ll just have to watch.

 

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