A Matter of Faith: The Mega-Review

A Matter of Faith: The Mega-Review June 24, 2017

Welcome to our full mega-review of A Matter of Faith, the 2014 Christian movie about a girl who goes to biology class and almost loses her faith!

Let’s dive right in.

The Death Glare.

A Matter of Faith opens with an idyllic little country scene. Little girl and her dad are walking through a covered bridge (are they trying to tell us something? probably not). They’re in a park, and there’s a boy throwing stones into the nearby river. While her dad sits down, the little girl picks up rocks to throw next to the boy.

OMG THERE’S A SHINY COIN ON THE GROUND. She reaches for it, the boy grabs it out of her hand, gives her a death glare, and walks off to his parents while she glares back like dude, you took my coin.

Hey, maybe it was his coin that he’d lost? Why is she even mad here? What is there to be mad about? Why did the Christiano Brothers put this scene into the movie? It makes no rational sense at all. I’m guessing the boy will turn out to be important later, but seriously, Christian moviemakers, quit with the stupid intro scenes. Just start your movies like 15 minutes later than your script says, and they’ll be so much better.

The Going Off to College Party.

Dad officiates the next scene, where the girl from the first scene is now 18 (30 in RL) and there’s a huge party for her at some restaurant because she’s about to go off to college. Dad makes really stupid jokes that everyone politely laughs at, and warns the girl of their “deal” that she’d apparently agreed to while still a minor: that she wouldn’t get married till she was 45 years old. Seriously.

I'm betting this is a church activity center.
I’m betting this is a church activity center.

Oh yay, it’s going to be that kind of movie where men are their female family members’ sexual gatekeepers.

This scene is here because the Christiano Brothers can’t figure out how to show us that the girl, whose name is Rachel, is going to college soon.

Also, her mother looks exactly like Marina Sirtis, but she isn’t. I checked. Also also, everyone at the dinner party looks like they’re older friends of Rachel’s parents’, not hers. She doesn’t appear to have a single friend there. And who even throws kids big parties like that at restaurants for going to college anymore? Maybe, but it looks so weird, like it’s what Christians imagine people do for kids going to college.

When Rachel and her mom are packing after the party, her dad sneaks a $50 bill into her Bible, tucking it into the book right past the cover. This is absolutely a riff on the urban legend about the soup spoon under the bed, which I’ll explain later if I’m right.

She drives away in her generic silvery sedan while the parents wave from the door and are sad.

The Dorm Life.

Rachel takes her suitcase to her room and meets her roommate, and they exchange dialogue that doesn’t even sound remotely like anything normal people say.

Apparently nothing of interest happens between her arriving at campus and getting to the first class.

In that class, which is “Introduction to Biology,” we are introduced to the high-energy biology professor character, Dr. Marcus Kaman. He tells the students that they will be learning about “life… and its origins.” He tries to be funny and tells them he wants them to use critical thinking skills.

Rachel is totally admiring this guy already. She’s just so excited about being there and having to participate in class discussions! She keeps mugging at her roommate, whose name I didn’t catch.

Point of order, btw: I took an intro to biology class and I don’t remember it doing much with origins of life. She’s especially excited about the fact that he’s told everyone that if they simply attend every single class, they will be guaranteed a C even if they obviously aren’t listening to anything Kaman says. This, also, is kinda not what I remember. A lot of profs do use attendance as part of the grade, but only part of it–not enough to bail with a C at the end.

Some days pass. Rachel’s friend refuses to let Rachel study. She drags the girl to a party where people dance like they have never actually seen or heard of dancing before but have been told to dance by laser-pistol-wielding space aliens.

also 90% sure this is the outside of the same church activity center
also 90% sure this is the outside of the same church activity center

Rachel wallflowers it until a guy comes up to her to chat. She trustingly goes outside with this guy, who is called Jason. The conversation turns to Dr. Kaman, and Jason gives some exposition about how cool a professor Kaman is–then interrogates her about her class load. When she tells him that she’s a biology major, he reacts like she just told him she has a laser turret built into her jeans’ crotch.

Rachel’s roommate brings her some orange juice from (I suppose) the cafeteria, since it’s in a plastic cup. Rachel didn’t drink the night before so I’m confused about why the juice was necessary–not that roommates really do that anyway. Again, this is the Christiano Brothers’ idea of what young women are like in dorms. They talk about Jason; the roommate tells her to snap the guy up while she can because he won’t be single for long.

What, is there some big panic about the availability level of floppy-haired kids with bad skin, poor posture, and a quickly-developing dadbod at this university? OMG BETTER MOVE ON THAT ONE GURRRRL.

Dad gets a call from someone who is apparently from church, who asks if Rachel’s found a church family yet and gives him some side-eye over her attending a secular college instead of the fundagelical one Mom and Dad would have wanted. As he talks, he gazes lovingly at a photo of the three of them. The photo is set next to his computer monitor, which has a paper wedged into its corner that I couldn’t read. I wonder what it said. Dad is sure that she’ll find a church any day now, he says, but you can tell he isn’t sure. ZOMG WILL SHE FIND A CHURCH HOME.

The Age-Old Question.

Dr. Kaman Islands brings a suitcase to class and says they’ll be answering that “age-old question” all through history: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

rubber chicken bugaloo

The class laughs at the sight of the fake egg and yellow plastic chicken. Rachel thinks the chicken came first.

He says the egg came first. She’s FLOORED. She gives a troubled look to the floor, specifically. How could she be so wrong? So wrong, so wrong, stupid Rachel, stupid stupid Rachel, GEEYAHH, right in front of the awesome professor, jeez, oh stupid Rachel!

Point of order: I don’t think that he asked the question in an honest way. Technically, eggs did exist before chickens did–their ancestors, dinosaurs, laid eggs. But it gets more complicated when you ask which came first: the first chicken or the first chicken egg. An almost-chicken would have laid the egg that became the chicken, so I guess technically it’s the egg there, because the egg contained the genetic material that made the chicken, but seriously, this guy really oversimplified the matter and made his student feel like an idiot.

Further, his explanation, that complex lifeforms evolved from simpler ones, is ridiculous. He thinks that the egg is the simpler lifeform and the chicken is the more advanced one. But that’s not how it is. In reality, the egg and chicken are pretty much the same DNA. They’re both complex lifeforms. The egg isn’t a chicken yet; it only contains the chicken as a developing creature. But they’re both chickens from an evolutionary standpoint. The actual evolutionary theory doesn’t even postulate that complex lifeforms came from simpler ones; that’s just a Creationist’s misunderstanding speaking there. Some lifeforms evolved from more complex ones–like some RNA-based stuff coming from DNA-based stuff (think about the really big microbes) which is arguably more complex. But here the professor is saying that the chicken came second only because it’s more complex than an egg, which indicates that this professor doesn’t know his stuff that well.

I’m not feeling this guy or his supposed awesomeness at teaching. But then, he’s been stuck with an intro-level biology class, so who knows, maybe his school isn’t feeling it either.

And this apparently was all that happened in the class. Not only is this guy’s intro class the smallest I’ve ever seen, barely filling a third of the small lecture space, but they’re really short classes.

Enter the Chode(s).

A journalism professor hands his student (I think?) a stack of newspapers and gives him a huge assignment to archive it all. The chode with the soul patch shows up here. He’s working at the same table and is clearly very amused by the work that just got dumped on his tablemate.  That’s all we see of him.

most punchable face ever

Later, Jason, wearing a neon vest, is tossing a football around with a cute friend. Jason is whining that the girl he saw last night (Rachel!) wouldn’t watch TV with him in his room, only in public. He’s going to dump her. His hot friend says he gives up too easily. And I’ve changed my mind about just who is the most punchable guy in this story.

Jason, I think.
Jason, I think.

Still later, in a cafeteria or restaurant or something, Jason wants Rachel to play a prank on his hot friend. He and her roommate pressure her with I’m not kidding peer pressure to do this. And because she has no real sense of self at all, she does it. She offers the hot friend a $100 bill to crack three eggs on his head. He accepts, but she only cracks 2 eggs on his head and then runs off with the money. He’s very upset.

Even though she’s done this stupid prank, Jason gives Rachel the “just friends” talk apparently, though it happens offscreen. Rachel pretends she doesn’t care but she does.

Dr. Kaman gets a phone call from the journalism professor dude, whose name is Phil. They’re doing a promotional debate and Kaman has to give him the topic he wants to run. Kaman doesn’t know yet.

We finally learn the journalism chode’s name: Evan. He’s going to cover the debate.

Meanwhile, the hot friend, whose name is Tyler, sees Rachel at the library and introduces himself. He forgives her for the prank and then flat-out tells her that he’ll pick her up to take her to the debate coming up. When she resists, he tells her that she owes him because of the egg incident. She grimaces and agrees.

Um, this kid is kinda rapey.

The debate is about mathematics and hardly anybody’s there. Tyler demands a second date (for the second egg cracked over his head) and she agrees.

Mr. Captain: C’mon, Rachel! He wants the sex that God can’t see!

Visit Home.

Rachel visits home. Daddy walks in on his little angel, who is in her childhood bed texting Tyler. She hasn’t found a church home yet but she adores her biology class’s professor! He looks troubled. The mother-who-looks-SO-like-Marina-Sirtis screams at everyone to hurry up so they can get to church on time (SO Jesus-y!) and Rachel asks her dad to get her Bible off their barren breakfast bar.

this is really a display house that they live in like thye're the Bluths
this is really a display house that they live in like thye’re the Bluths

dundunDUN

When her dad grabs the Bible, his $50 falls out of it!

Yeah, I called it. This is a riff on the urban legend of the silver soup ladle. Here’s the gist: a woman who’s just hosted a housewarming party for her and her live-in lover delicately asks her elderly auntie if she’s seen the silver soup ladle. The auntie says the ladle is under the guest-r0om bed’s mattress, which the lady would have seen immediately had she been sleeping there like she said she was (instead of OMG IN SIN with the lover in the master bedroom’s bed). In this case, had Rachel actually been reading her Bible, she’d have noticed the $50 right away. So Daddy knows that she hasn’t been reading her Bible like a proper little TRUE CHRISTIAN™ girl.

But he apparently says nothing at all about the money. He just pockets it.

And are we going to talk about the sweater he’s wearing? Because I have trouble imagining that anybody wears that stuff.

Rachel looks nothing like either of them, just sayin'.
Rachel looks nothing like either of them, just sayin’.

Regardless! As Rachel drives off in her nondescript silver sedan, the intent-ful music plays. Oh, it’s so epic. Daddy resolutely walks into his study full of Jesus kitsch and sits down at his computer.

He looks up Marcus Kaman. Oddly, he doesn’t need the spelling of the name. He’s only heard it spoken that we know of. If you’d asked me about the spelling, I’d have says Cayman, probably, because of the islands and all. But no, this is Kaman and he knows it.

SO WORRIED

Whining at the Pastor.

Then in the next scene he’s whining to his pastor about how “the guy’s an evolutionist and a big proponent of it, Pastor.” Like he’s accusing the guy of selling war secrets or something. That is literally the tone of voice I’d expect to hear if the statement was about smuggling cocaine to elementary schoolkids.

It’s a secular university, with a biology professor teaching basic biology to students. Naturally the guy is going to talk about evolution. And naturally the school’s going to want a professor who is on board with the main unifying theory of all the biological sciences.

OKAY LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SEVERAL PUBLISHED ARTICLES.

Dad is whining to the pastor and goes on and on about how Kaman’s “published several articles” about evolution.

Just “several articles?” Bish, please. Most biology folks have written way more. If he’s that much of a fighter against Creationism, chances are that Kaman’s written a hundred by this point in his career. That’s the big difference between Creationist nutjobs and actual biologists: real biologists have published tons of stuff, while Creationists have literally only published “several articles” that may or may not even touch on biology at all, much less evolution in any way.

Daddy has earned my Shade Court Award.

What outrages Daddy even more is that the class syllabus doesn’t even mention Creationism. It’s almost like it’s not any kind of accepted science so it doesn’t belong in a science class. Shocking!

This is the talking point that Creationists swing like dicks at people’s faces: equal time for each theory. Except that they aren’t anywhere close to a working theory yet, so there’s no equal time to give them.

While Daddy stares at him slackjawed, the pastor (who looks vaguely Middle Eastern?) reminds him that all secular universities teach “evolution as the answer to the origins of life.” Ehh, not quite, but he’s rollin’. Why, he’s shocked that even some Christian schools do the same! (True: even some fundagelical colleges teach real science to their students, a fact that horrified Christian parents right around when this movie was made.) Cue the TRUE CHRISTIAN™ posturing.

The pastor makes him see that he needs to talk to Kaman face-to-face, man-to-man.

1500M or Bust.

(BTW, Tyler totally isn’t the hot guy who guessed about the egg. That’s “Mr. Blair,” who we see in the next scene. Definitely different kids.)

How is Kaman so popular? He humiliates his students, makes them feel uncertain and uncomfortable. And he hasn’t said anything really crushing about evolution yet anyway. He has the hot Egg Guy, Mr. Blair, talk about his running time in track, and then points out that in 1896, that same time would have won the gold medal in the Olympics–by 30 seconds. In 1904, it’d have won by 2 seconds. His point is that our track runners are getting faster and faster, and it’s obviously because of evolution.

Yes. Four generations or so, and we’re already super-fast compared to the 1890s. That’s all evolution, baby, he insists. No, our faster running times have nothing to do with advances in diet or training, or picking better runners for the competition.

Reality Time: Evolution isn’t about improving a species. It’s not about making a species faster or stronger or smarter. It’s about making its members more likely to reproduce.

Rachel’s roommate (Allie?) asks her in the library to come to some jazz restaurant or something. ChodeEvan is there nearby and he overhears and is very, very interested. I guess he’s actually rockin’ a chinstrap there, not a soul patch, but in my mind, in my heart of hearts, he’ll always be SoulPatch McGrumblefucky. When Rachel blows off her roommate, Evan leans over to ask if she’s taking Kaman’s class. She asks if Evan likes him and Evan concedes that he does, but grimaces as he goes on to add that he doesn’t agree with him.

“Why not?” asks Rachel. “He could be right!” Yes, dear, he totally could.

Evan gets up to head out and as he leaves, he stops and waves what looks like a Bible at Rachel and says, “By the way…. he’s not right.” And having thus delivered his fatal blow, the brave warrior saunters out with a grade-Z smirk and somehow avoids getting the shit smacked out of him by random passersby before he exits the scene.

Mr. Captain: Dammit. He escaped.

Wild Parents Unexpectedly Appear! They are Somewhat Successful.

Marina Sirtis and Daddy come to visit Rachel, but he never even makes it to the dorm room. He’s got other prey in mind this time.

While Dad goes to pester Kaman, Tyler, Jason, and someone who looks exactly like Jason called Luke talk about some upcoming group event. Tyler says he’s trying to cultivate a “meaningful relationship” with Rachel. The other two mock him for not getting laid, but he insists that he’s going to eventually get Rachel’s heart in his hands. (To which one must advise: that’s the wrong body part by half there, champ.)

What the hell was wrong with whoever cast this movie?!? There are now three characters who look exactly like 3 other characters.

I’m in mourning over Harry Anderson. The guy playing the dad isn’t fit to tie his sandal straps.

Daddy wants Kaman to explain to his satisfaction why he “only” teaches evolution (meaning, why he doesn’t teach Creationist pseudoscience claptrap in his classes). Before Kaman answers, he wants to know if Daddy is religious and if it helps him be at peace with himself.

Kaman gives a good explanation of the matter, for what it’s worth: Evolution is based on a lot of real observations and experiments. Daddy whines that the ToE “goes against the core beliefs of everything we’ve been teaching Rachel!” He bristles that Creationism is a “story” to Kaman, too.

This sounds like a Daddy problem here, doesn’t it? It’s sure not a Kaman problem. The world won’t change just because a kid got taught incorrect information in her childhood. Sounds like he’s whining, “Why won’t you back up the pseudoscience lies we’ve been teaching her? How dare you teach her reality-based science!”

Like sorry, man, that you chose to be shitty parents deluded by religious nonsense instead of teaching your daughter real stuff about the real world, but my sympathies just aren’t there.

Kaman offers to debate Daddy on evolution and Creationism. Rachel, who walks into their dick-waving contest, is horrified at the idea but Kaman (who is very hard up for a debate topic) insists and Daddy’s on board because “this man has no respect for GOD or anything we believe in!” Because of course nobody who understands and accepts evolution could possibly be Christian. If they are, they’re definitely not the correct kind of Christian.

Daddy tells Rachel that he’s worried about Rachel’s religious faith. She throws a fit. Marina Sirtis just looks back and forth between them. (They could have had a bag of potatoes with a lot of mascara painted across it stand in for the mom character; I understand that this actress is good, but she really had nothing to work with here.)

The debate is on! The journalism prof gives Evan, the Living Soul Patch, the task of interviewing Rachel’s dad. Later, Evan learns that Kaman got another professor fired for being a Creationist 12 years ago. The class was a Creationism-based one, so the guy got fired.

Doing the Research.

Daddy has gotten some textbooks from the library to study up on evolution. He spouts the kinds of things that Creationists think real scientists believe about the topic (like how humans descended from ape-like beings–when in reality we are apes, just like apes are today). Marina Sirtis says in outrage, “How can they say things like that and get away with it?” And believe me, I’m asking the same thing about Creationists.

When Evan calls Daddy for an interview, he says he’s a Christian who supports the father in the upcoming debate and has information that might be “useful” to him. Uh oh! What could it be!??

Apparently, as he explains when they meet up together in that same park, it’s that “Kaman is smart, and clever. He’ll take what you say and twist it around–question you, corner you.”

I think Evan is projecting a teeny bit.

(I’m not sold on this wine, by the way. It’s not terrible, it’s just kinda murky-tasting. Also, THANK DOG that this is halfway over.)

Evan, by the way, brings his Bible with him on the walk with the dad. He has Creationist materials in his car, he says.

The father eventually tells Evan that this park is “important” to him because of the kid who stole the coin from Rachel. I seriously thought the dad was coming on to Evan, but no, he just explained that after Rachel’s coin got stolen and her dad used it to Jesus Juke her, she acceptedjesusasherpersonallordandsaviorthankyou. The books Evan gives the dad seem like Answers in Genesis materials.

Daddy calls the professor that Kaman got fired years ago. This other professor doesn’t want to talk about it and hangs up on him. SO NEFARIOUS.

Rachel begs her dad not to do the debate, incidentally. Her whole life is one repeated theme: she tries to set boundaries, and whoever she sets them against refuses to heed those lines.

When she gets mad at Evan for interviewing and encouraging her father in the debate, he smirks and tells her that Kaman’s wrong, but he’s just a good communicator who’s “messed with your head.” Oh, like he totally isn’t, got it, thanks. The two argue about whether or not Kaman’s correct about the fossil record–ignoring that there’s evidence for the stuff scientists say about the fossil record, so there’s no need to wonder if Kaman is right or wrong–and then Evan lists a whole bunch of rapid-fire Creationist zingers, chief among them “life comes from non-life!” and that the chicken obviously came first because it was created first.

With a grade-Z punchable smirk on his face, Evan asks Rachel if the world was popped into being from nothingness via Bible-god’s magic, or if it came to look like it does today through evolution (he’s ignoring all kinds of scientific worlds here, like geology and astronomy, so I guess we might as well ignore them too). Rachel refuses to answer. I really, really, really hate this kid. I hope he’s not like that in real life and that the director just kept pushing him to be a shitheel, like the little girl in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This montage we see next follows comes in every Christian movie: the Christian DOING THE RESEARCH and getting frustrated. Daddy goes to see the pastor with his outline. I’m betting most pastors dread that congregant who comes in every other day to whine about something new.

Meanwhile, Tyler and his two pals (Jason and Luke I guess?) are talking about Rachel and about how she’s way too religious to give in to the woman-slayer Tyler’s advances. He tells them he’ll “make his move” after the football game that weekend, and then he’ll let them know how religious she is.

Yeah, because religious girls never, ever have nonmarital sex, ever.

Have these three kids ever actually known any religious girls? Or is this just the fundagelical view of things?

The Fired Professor.

The fired professor (named Portland) tells Daddy not to debate Kaman. He’s angry still about being fired. He claims he was teaching Creationism and happy doing it, and then Kaman personally destroyed him. He doesn’t want to talk about Kaman. He walks off while Daddy yells after him that Christians are never “out of the game.”

The actor playing Daddy looks like he’s seriously 1/2″ from bursting into tears at any given time. He tells Evan that Portland is “bitter” about the firing. Remember that bit of Christianese? That means “anger that I think should have ended by now.”

Evan comes up to Rachel in the library, where a student is telling her that Kaman is going to make her dad look ridiculous. Evan smirks and comes up to spout a Creationist talking point at the kid. It’s the ultimate fantasy that fundagelicals have about these run-ins:

He asks the kid, “Does your mother look like an ape?” And when the kid reacts like he’s a lunatic, while Rachel watches with horror and disdain, Evan asks who in the kid’s family “was the monkey.”

We’ll ignore that that is not how human evolution works in the least, because the Christiano Brothers sure ignore it. And here, the evil atheist kid looks poleaxed and runs off, defeated–just like in the fantasy.

Right afterward, Evan hears Luke and Jason talking about how Tyler’s going to totally try to get in Rachel’s pants. Like the little dizzy shit that he is, he rushes right up to Rachel to tell her. He wants to sit down to tell her some bad news; when she refuses, he insists (ignoring another boundary).

But he also wants to get her away from Kaman because Kaman is operating with “an agenda.” Kaman, you see, wants to deliberately cause young Christians to doubt their faith! (Because only Christians are Creationist, and one must be Creationist to be Christian, obviously!) Rachel is upset at the idea that Evan thinks she’s not Christian; she might be disengaged, but she’s definitely still Christian at least in her mind.

Evan tells her that a person can’t just “add Jesus to their life;” it’s not admission, it’s submission that a Christian must pursue. When she gets up in disgust and leaves, he chases her with the information that Tyler just wants to get in her pants.

How would Evan know that? Tyler told his friends that he wanted something meaningful with her. Evan says he would never lie to her, but Tyler is definitely lying to her, and Rachel runs off in a dither. She’s good at that!

Finally she gets her Bible out to read, having hit rock bottom. Her hot boyfriend wants sex at some point! Her daddy is embarrassing her! Oh! Where will it all end? (The $50 got removed already, remember?)

She calls her dad to confess that she’s sorry for whatever it was she did to upset him. Then she brings her roommate juice (a reversal of the first time!) and tells her she has “something to tell her,” which I suppose means she’s going to evangelize her.

She’s a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ at last!

To prove her newfound Jesus-fication, she tells Kaman that the chicken came first, then dumps Tyler. I’m just surprised, really. For all that the men in this movie listen to Rachel’s boundaries, I thought for sure she’d dump Tyler and then he’d say “oh no you don’t, we’re going out on Friday!’ and she’d cow and grimace prettily and say “oh okay, but just this one time!”

i'm just surprised they ended the scene broken up

Interestingly, Tyler is literally the only man in this movie who gives a shit about anything Rachel says. Tyler meanwhile goes and attacks Jason, who says he has no idea how Rachel found out about Tyler’s plan. I bet Tyler’s going to find out Evan did it, and just clock the little shitbird.

We can hope. If that happens, I will drink the whole rest of this bottle.

The Debate.

As usual, this debate is presented as a total referendum on Christianity. Only Christians imagine that debates are this interesting or this essential to recruiting new believers.

Daddy: Evolution is about the origins of life. Science can only be observed, and evolution can’t be observed so nyah nyah. What is responsible for the Big Bang? Also EVOLUTIONISTS are a religion of their own, and I can’t see how this universe could possibly have come to be what it is today. Evolutionism is a religion! Science undermines the Bible’s authority! We must start with “God as a first cause” or nothing about the universe makes sense!

It’s like a Who’s Who of ridiculous Creationist talking points.

Kaman: Faith is just wishful thinking and it cannot ever be proven.

Actually Kaman doesn’t do a bad job, considering the people responsible for this awful movie. He gets a few points wrong but otherwise, it’s not bad. While he talks, we pan over Rachel and her mom; Rachel looks sympathetic but sad, and her mother just sullenly shakes her head faintly a few times.

But tellingly, Kaman doesn’t refer to anything specific in terms of evidence for their views. When Daddy asks him about where that leaves “God,” Kaman goes on to refer to Sigmund Freud to prop up his insistence that humans had created “God,” but I don’t see why he had to do that. There’s no evidence that this god exists; a proper debate partner would insist that Daddy shoulder the burden of proof.

Daddy asks Kaman what the meaning of life is, as if that has anything to do with Creationism or evolution. But Daddy believes–believes–that the afterlife makes life meaningful. Eventually Daddy concedes that there’s no scientific proof of anything in the Bible.

Then, at the crescendo of the debate, when Daddy is about to fall to pieces under Kaman’s superior Romulan weaponry, ex-professor PORTLAND shows up to say that Freud was wrong!

The moderator tells him to sit down but he doesn’t, because that’s the kind of debate we’re in here. Portland comes to the stage and Daddy asks if Kaman’s okay with him taking over. If there were any gods I’d be thanking them now that we’re only 15 minutes to the end.

Portland: If there’s no god then there’s no rules, and nobody we’re accountable to.

Yes, it’s the “you just wanna sin!” argument! Portland hammers it to the ground. The little speech Portland gives demonstrates very well exactly why he got fired. He’s using talking points that I’m pretty sure I saw the Answers in Genesis people asking Creationists not to use again. He ends with a threat of Hell to those who don’t buy into Creationism. Marina Sirtis is crying. He belligerently states that sure, some folks would consider his position really stupid–

Mr. Captain: Yes, that’d be all of us.

–but hey, he’s gonna go to Heaven and we’re not so neener neener.

And then he goes to Kaman and apologizes for his “attitude” and “bitterness.” He asks for forgiveness, and the floored Kaman watches him leave with Daddy. Everyone’s all sober after that thunderous speech; Kaman says he can’t think of anything to add, and that concludes the debate.

If I were in the audience, I’d be thinking that this was a really poorly-run and amateur debate.

Afterward, Daddy thanks Evan for helping him. Rachel looks after Evan as he leaves, all thoughtful and sad. “Is that my future husband?!?” she’s clearly wondering.

Kaman goes to his office and opens the box with the rubber chicken in it. He holds it in his hand and contemplates it.

On the mega plus side, let’s give the Christiano Brothers some big credit here. Kaman didn’t convert on the spot and he didn’t get hit by a car going home. Rachel thanks Evan for helping her dad and apologizes to her, but she doesn’t seem inclined to go further until he asks her out.

You know, I wasn’t sold on this wine until I tried it with cheesecake. Then it transformed into something glorious! This may be my new favorite pairing with cheesecake.

The Last Scene ARRRGH.

Evan takes her to that park, which, remember, is about 90 minutes from her school (it’s halfway to home, 3 hours’ drive). He tells her that he’s the boy who took the coin from her when she was a kid.

I TOLD YOU I TOLD YOU I TOLD YOU

And by the way, just as Rachel became Christian that day as a result of the theft, Evan’s dad Jesus Juked him to conversion too. ZOMG

There’s a Bible verse and a heartfelt Christian song at the end as the two walk way.

Tell me--TELL ME-- that this doesn't look like something you'd see in a TV-movie or a soap opera.
Tell me–TELL ME– that this doesn’t look like something you’d see in a TV-movie or a soap opera.

And that is that!

I just realized that Tyler never came up and clocked Evan for messing up his relationship with Rachel. Hmph. After the dumping scene, Tyler just vanishes from the script–along with the other two nutbars. It’s a pity; Tyler was literally the only really good character in there. I know we’re supposed to BOO HISS at him for wanting to get laid, but nothing he said indicated that he was a really bad guy or anything. For all we knew, he was even Christian.

There were a lot of loose strings like that in here, but we’re asked to love this ugly spud where it stands.

No thanks. This movie sucks. But at least we got through it together!


SCORE (from 1 to gluberplex):

PRODUCTION VALUES: 8/10
SOUND, MUSIC: 8/10
ACTING: 2/10
REALISTIC DEBATING: 0/10
USE OF CATCHPHRASES AND TALKING POINTS: 10/10
REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF, WELL, ANYTHING: -100/100
USE OF HARRY ANDERSON: Cruel and unusual.
MARINA SIRTIS: Deserved better. OMG did she ever.
THAT DAD GUY: Definitely was flirting with Evan in the park.
TIMES I WANTED TO PUNCH EVAN IN THE NADS: How many lines did he have? That many times. I really hope the actor is nothing like that as a person.

TOTAL: Not even “so bad it’s good.”

Mr. Captain: You were way too sober for this.


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TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
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