Genre: Romance, Comedy
Okay, be honest, how many of you have had someone in your life suggest that you should go on the dating site Christian Mingle to find someone? Anyone…only me? Well even if you haven’t, you can’t deny that the title of the movie Christian Mingle is pretty perfect for a Christian romance film. On the title alone, I plunged into this film head first expecting to fall madly in love with the characters and giggle like a school girl at the sappy-sweet romance between the lead characters. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. This movie, that was so full of potential, left me happy to be single.
In Christian Mingle, Gwyneth Hayden (Lacey Chabert) is a successful advertiser who is far less successful in love. She becomes so frustrated, that she decides to join Christian Mingle despite the fact that she isn’t really a Christian. She soon finds the type of man she was looking for, Paul Wood (Jonathan Patrick Moore). How long, though, will she be able to keep up the façade of being a devout Christian? Christian Mingle also stars Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Kevin Can Wait, Impastor), Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, Thelma and Louise), John O’Hurley (General Hospital, Valley of the Dolls), and Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road, Friends).
Let’s start with the positives. The production quality of the film was quite good and Lacey Chabert’s acting was excellent. In fact, it was her acting alone that kept me interested in the movie. She gave her character, Gwyneth, a quirkiness that was loveable. I also thought it was smart on the part of the writers to show that Gwyneth had gained a true relationship in God that went beyond using it to catch men.
Unfortunately, there were two huge issues I had with the film. The first is that it made Christians look odd. I’m not talking about adorable quirky. I’m talking about “make up any excuse to get away from these people” odd. One example is that the romantic interest, Paul, couldn’t figure out how to eat Sushi. The trial and error of the whole thing made me want to cringe. He wouldn’t swallow it! He just kept chewing, and chewing, and chewing. Here’s a tip: Don’t eat sushi while watching this film. Another example is the restaurant his Christian friends and family took Gwyneth to after church. It’s called “Steak and Cake.” On the table before them was an entire tray of steaks and two whole cakes. It was not only the strangest restaurant I have ever seen, but I think I got a clogged artery just looking at it. These examples are only a couple of the many odd things that the Christians in the show did. Quite frankly, I can’t even put the awkwardness into words. The worst part was that Gwyneth simply found all of this charming! Really!?! I don’t understand. I’m a Christian and even I would run away.
The second major issue is tied to the first: I didn’t feel the love connection between Gwyneth and Paul. After their first date, I was convinced she would dump him, try Christian Mingle again, and find the love of her life in a ruggedly handsome heartthrob. Nope. He was apparently the love she was looking for. At least that’s what the script said, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t really care if they ended up together. I actually wanted her to end up with someone better. This, in my book, is one of the worst things a romance movie can do. I mean, isn’t that why we are watching? To root for the relationship and cry when they end up together? This just missed the mark.
What Age Group Is It For?
The movie is rated PG and there is nothing that would be offensive or scaring to young children. However, I would say it is more suitable for 12 and over.
Looking To Show It at Church?
The main Christian focus is finding a true relationship with God. I wouldn’t recommend showing this in a church setting simply because I don’t feel the theme is strong enough to build a lesson around. I also don’t think it is a movie that would inspire people to seek out more Christian films.