Saving Christmas, otherwise known as Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas, is the latest evangelical film that attempts to frame Christmas as being under attack by secular culture. Well, at least that's what the marketing would have you believe. As it turns out, it's something else entirely, and it has viewers trashing the movie.
According to IMDB users, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas is the worst movie of all time with a score of 1.5 stars. To put things into perspective, Saving Christmas is rated worse than the number two worst film of all time - Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Kirk Cameron's latest shares the spotlight with other film travesties, such as Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Manos: The Hands of Fate and Disaster Movie.
So, why do people hate this movie so much? If you listen to Cameron, he thinks it's the standard secular reaction to any Christian film. When the film received a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Cameron took to his Facebook page asking fans to at least raise the user score to counter the negative critic reviews:
Cameron's fanbase has at least somewhat come to his rescue on Rotten Tomatoes as the movie has a 32 percent user rating. Most of the reviews, however, are still overwhelmingly negative with some calling out the film's flimsy theology and worship of consumerism. Here's an excerpt from Nate Zoebl's user review:
Amazingly, Saving Christmas ends up becoming a misguided and ludicrous defense of materialism and the commercialism attached to Christmas. In Cameron's very narrow perspective, anything associated with the holiday has to be positive. Yes, Cameron literally argues that all the material excess and spending actually honors God. Instead of looking at the presents under the tree as just that, look at them as the outline of a skyline of a new Jerusalem, Cameron offers in one of the more head-scratching moments. He conflates the spending of money with celebration, admonishing people to buy "the biggest ham, the richest butter" as long as they just don't "max out their credit cards." That's the limit he sets, so everything below that must be agreeable. Just to hammer the message home further, Cameron says that materialism is good because "Christ was made material." That sure is a slippery slope of ethics there. It's not much of a leap to then justify greed or to equate spending the most money with being the godliest. Why would any film, let alone a Christian one, choose to defend unchecked materialism?
As for critics, many felt the same way. Peter Sobczynski of Roger Ebert gave the film one star and criticized the film for the same pro-materialism message that seems to pervade the film. It's definitely worth a read if you want to see all the problems with the film.
If you still want to see what all the hubbub is about, I suggest checking out the trailer.
Save yourself a few bucks and just watch The Santa Clause instead. If you want to watch former sitcom stars embarrassing themselves around the holidays, why not spend that time with the marginally less offensive Tim Allen.