When I reviewed The Last Airbender last year, I figured it would be the worst movie I would bother writing about on here. This one is something special. I have given very few films a 1/10 rating, as in order to do so, I must feel that it’s devoid of all artistic and entertainment value. Because Saving Christmas fits the bill, I’ve given it that rarest of honors.
When Kirk (Kirk Cameron) sees that his friend Christian (Darren Doane) isn’t enjoying Christmas, he sits down with him to explain away his concerns about the holiday.
I once saw a movie called Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny that was worse than Saving Christmas. I guess that’s about the best I can say about it.
The movie feels like a short film drawn out to an hour and twenty minutes. The main “narrative” involves 38 minutes of two men sitting in a car interrupted by slow motion flashbacks and fifteen minutes afterward dedicated to a dance sequence and credits/bloopers. That leaves the remaining half hour or so for slow motion footage, plodding narrations, and an obsession with hot chocolate. This is a movie that is terribly difficult to sit through.
While it’s clear that the film’s technical integrity was at best a quickly abandoned afterthought in favor of its thematic material, the fact that it fails there as well is damning evidence of how poor this movie is. Saving Christmas isn’t even about putting Christ back in Christmas, as the poster claims, but is instead about Cameron making up some spots to stick Him in. Much of the movie consists of Cameron explaining to his friend how different traditions had Christian meanings all along, such as Christmas trees representing Christ’s cross, presents representing city skylines, and snow globes representing nativity scenes. The cast is likely a group of people that Cameron knows, and let’s just say the few non-white people present really stand out. The only black character with a speaking role, Diondre (played by a man named David), is a jive-talkin’, hip-hop-lovin’ DJ who fits just about every stereotype you would expect of a man in this kind of movie.
The worst part of this film, both onscreen and off, is Kirk Cameron himself. From this movie and the events surrounding its release, he strikes me as arrogant and self-aggrandizing. Every smug, nonsensical explanation that he offers to his friend is met with immediate awe and reverence. In reality, what he says throughout the film is at best naive and at worst falsehoods, distortions, and misrepresentations of both Christian and pagan histories. The fact that Cameron wrote these interactions framing himself as flawlessly as he did says something about the man’s character.
He goes as far as to praise Christmas-season materialism by declaring it to be a way to thank God for taking on a material body. That comparison is inherently trivial, as beyond the equivocation of the word “material”, Cameron is describing every holiday and how it is celebrated. That is, of course, unless there is some ethereal holiday that cannot be celebrated by any physical means. What am I even talking about at this point?
Saving Christmas is among the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It is an abject failure in all matters spiritual, historical, visual, audible, and ethical. At the core of this travesty is a pretentious, one-man charge toward desperate re-appropriation of Christmas traditions by a man who sees himself as our cultural savior. The acting is bad, the writing is bad, the message is bad, the music is bad, the dancing is bad, the jokes is bad, and the hot chocolate is probably bad. Do not watch this movie.