I watched Christian Mingle over the weekend because I write a blog, love movies, and hate Christian kitsch. And it was streaming on Netflix. But I’m not going to review this two year old movie in full because that’s silly, we all know it’s not great film making. But I’d like to chronicle what I believe the film’s greatest flaws are. Not an exhaustive list, but a list of the major offenses as I see them.
Do Note: I am not an unbiased observer. I wholeheartedly disagree with the cultish “Christian” approach toward marriage, I am willing to find fault wherever I want, and I dislike “Christian media” of any variety because I feel its “safety” and “Christianness” are just a quicksand trap to avoid critical thinking in all areas of your life.
Second note: Any time I use quotes from here on out it’s me actually quoting real lines from the movie. I say this because you may find that hard to believe.
Brief synopsis: A non-Christian woman wants to find a “decent guy” so she joins a Christian website and tries to fake being a Christian to put a ring on it.
To be honest, the title should give most of that plot away. So well done title.
Here’s where we start to go wrong:
- Mission Trips Help White People — Sure, yeah, and the ethnic group they’re “ministering to” but that’s secondary. Mostly let’s use the natives to further the plot, drive home some good Jesus points, and definitely let the locals simple Christianity propel our heroine to Jesus. Plus who needs character development when you know our hero’s a Christian because he wants to put a bell in a church?
- Christian women are bitches — Our heroine is a liar, for starters, but with good intentions so let’s leave her be. Both the mother and the only viable single Christian girl in the movie are delightful windows into how awful Christians can be to someone they view as either a threat or competition. When it comes to our hero Paul, “the last of the good ones that’s for sure” (i.e. the last single Christian bachelor around, apparently — seriously the guy has no male friends), it’s really important to rigorously vet any prospective romantic partner’s spirituality, make them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and definitely stress that you want nothing to do with them and think they’re awful because they saw a guy they liked and went for it. More importantly, once you discover she’s not a Christian, let her know that you want nothing to do with her. Totally what Jesus would want you to do.
- Finding a good Christian guy on a Christian dating website is easey peasey –The movie may show our heroine filling out her dating profile, but by no means does it show the process she went through before finding Paul Wood. According to this hour and a half long advert for Christian Mingle it really is THAT EASY. The commercials they feature in the movie (because movies should be more like TV shows) mentioned “hundreds of Christians in your area!” But then alarmingly the movie later describes our hero as “the last” and as he has no single male friends, I’m wondering where the rest of these guys are hiding. I did a quick google search of “Christian dating website horror stories” and in the first five results found two articles where women encountered either a rapist or a “monster” via online Christian dating. No search results about women duplicitously conning good Christian men into dates. I guess one man’s horror is not a woman’s horror.
- God and marriage have equal importance — “Jesus is there for us. All we have to do is call his name. And Mr. Right? He’s there too. You just have to reach into your heart and discover what’s true.” You hear that single ladies? God has a man out there for every woman. You just have to grossly reach into your own heart somehow. In your heart is the truth and Mr. Right. Supes easy women, don’t know why you’re still single. But actually it is probably your fault by not having a good enough relationship with God.
I like romantic comedies as much as the next girl. I’ve probably watched more of them than the next girl, actually. And I don’t mind secular society shilling this ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey, sugar-coated romance to the world. Because it’s false and I know it. But let’s not sell this tripe to Christian women. Christian women should be feasting on more substantial fare than this grossly marketed website built to woo Christian women into valuing marriage as the holy grail of relationships.
The only thing the movie got right is that the most important relationship in your life is the one with God. Good. Sold. End film there. But don’t pander to me that because I’m close to God “Mr. Right” is now around the corner. God is enough. And God will be enough for the rest of my life.
Roll end credits.