Guess what. You’re celebrating christmas wrong. Thanks kirk cameron!
“Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” is a look at the true meaning of Christmas and some of it’s symbols and traditions, according to Mr. Kirk Cameron. The story follows Kirk at a Christmas party correcting his brother in law on his many misunderstandings of how the season has been ruined by marketing, paganism, and materialism. It’s a message you can tell is dear to Cameron’s heart and now he has a chance to get his Christmas thoughts out in theatres across the nation.
You know what this movie reminds me of? A persuasive speech class you might give in college. Pick a topic, make your case, present your evidence. It’s like Cameron has his note cards all ready and his outline set. He’s ready to stand behind the podium and show us what Christmas really is. Except there’s one problem. I was under the impression I was coming to see a movie. I mean, the information is interesting at times, and some of the metaphors for what he is espousing are clever, and I might even be persuaded to give you that there are brief moments when it’s entertaining. But if I wanted to see a Holiday powerpoint presentation I could go to a Christmas conference, and when I want to hear a three point Yuletide sermon, I’ll just show up at my local place of worship the Sunday before December 25th.
And that really is what this experience is like, a Sunday morning sermon on the big screen. From it’s three point structure, to it’s clever use of Biblical history, Cameron is giving his Christmas Message and we are his congregation, in fact, I’m pretty sure I even heard a few Amen’s from the seat two rows ahead of me. Now, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad product, it’s just not really a movie, which makes my job a bit difficult here. Story’s usually have characters dialog, but this one just has rhetorical devices masquerading as people, and narration masquerading as conversation. The movie is so on the nose that the central (and pretty much only) character’s name is Christian, so that Kirk can address all believers in general as he pretends to be talking to this one. But how do you critique something like this? I could talk about my likes and dislikes with the content of his message, some of which seems sound, and some of which seems like a stretch (like his defense of holiday materialism because after all Christmas is all about God become material) but your opinion on that will likely be tied to whether or not you agree with him. It seems silly to talk about acting or story or cinematography or score, because those things aren’t really even in play. I mean at least half of this film is just Kirk Cameron talking into a microphone as stuff happens on screen, so is it a documentary? a Sermon? a movie? I honestly just can’t tell. What I can tell you is that there is a five minute dance breakdown at the end that comes out of nowhere and that the credits play over a ska version of silent night. So take that for what it’s worth.
At the end of the day, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, is a 25 minute Christmas sermon stretched into an 80 minute “movie” giving people permission to celebrate Christmas when they probably didn’t need it. Though it’s hard to know what part of it to rate I’ll play professor and critic both and give the persuasive speech a B and the movie a D, so lets just call this overall experience a Christmas C