For those of us who have watched Kirk Cameron pontificate on the wonders of the banana, or read his musings on the legitimacy of the existence of fire-breathing dragons, we know that Kirk Cameron himself is comedy gold. One might expect more hilarity from Cameron in Saving Christmas, but Cameron actually intentionally tries to build a comedy here, and the result is an unfunny, unfocused, interminable mess.
The film begins with an uncomfortable scene involving Kirk Cameron sitting in a chair, lecturing at the audience. “They don’t want us to love Christmas,” Cameron declares authoritatively, never bothering to define exactly who “they” are. Cameron drones on for several more minutes, and at this point in the film, I heard a kid in the back of the theater yawn loudly—perhaps an audible protest that this film would not be the exciting romp promised on the poster.
Finally, the film cuts away from Kirk Cameron, and we see several characters enjoying a Christmas party. But then we see Kirk Cameron again, the film freezes, and we hear Kirk Cameron narrating about himself: “That’s me—Kirk!” More lecturing ensues.
Eventually, a character by the name of Christian (almost as clever as “Josh Wheaton”), a Christian himself, despondently finds his way to a car, apparently disillusioned by the materialism of Christmas. Enter Kirk Cameron, who enters the vehicle and does what he does best—more lecturing.
The majority of the film takes place in this car as Kirk lectures to Christian, with occasional cutaways to Biblical imagery. Cameron tries to make the case that Christmas traditions, such as celebratory trees and gifts, all somehow originated with Christianity, not paganism. (Never mind the fact that ancient paganism predates Christianity.) “Last time I checked, God created the winter solstice!” is the type of asinine reasoning you’ll hear from Kirk Cameron throughout the film. Cameron’s facts are both dubious and sparse, and his connections are spurious—but Christian is nevertheless invariably blown away by Kirk Cameron’s apparently amazing insight.
Perhaps aware that interminable lecturing on its own would be unbearable for an audience, the film provides characters with quirky personalities in an effort to break up the tedium. In particular, we are treated to a scene back in the house of two characters rambling schizophrenically as they drink hot chocolate. It has nothing to do with Christian’s story, it makes the movie feel unfocused, it goes on for far too long, and if my theater is any indication, it is not funny at all. In fact, there was dead silence in my theater throughout the entire run of this “comedy” film.
The film ends with a dance sequence that feels like it lasts ten minutes, as well as multiple, gratuitous blooper scenes—I suppose for no reason other than to pad the running time. Just when you think it’s finally over, we see Kirk Cameron again, and he continues to lecture the audience—this time about how materialism is just fine, because Jesus came to us in a material body, after all.
One gets the impression that Kirk Cameron actually started reading his own Bible, was disturbed by what he found (such as Jesus’ instruction to “go sell your possessions and give to the poor”), and produced this film as a desperate justification for his own hypocrisy.
At my theater, nobody laughed, and nobody stayed for the end credits. This purported comedy film fails at every level. If you’re really looking for a laugh, go back and take a look at what Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort have to say about the glorious design of the banana.
(This review was originally published on IMDb here.)