Some may view actor Kirk Cameron as a hyper-religious, ultra-conservative Christian, so it may surprise you that his latest venture, Saving Christmas, is the polar opposite of what you might expect. In fact, this film is actually aimed at those who are hyper-religious, ultra-conservative Christians and even proves that the title is inaccurate. Christmas isn’t in need of saving; it needs to be celebrated.
Saving Christmas is different from what you might expect in a lot of ways. It isn’t really a tradition movie as there isn’t much of a storyline. It isn’t really a documentary, because there IS a storyline. The production is written and directed by Darren Doane who also has a large role in the film as Kirk’s fictional brother-in-law “Christian” and obvious metaphor for everyone who watches this movie. Christian’s wife is played by Kirk’s sister, Bridgette Cameron.
The thin plot revolves around a family Christmas party where Christian spends most of it sulking in his car. Instead of the over-used storyline about someone who has “lost the Christmas spirit,” Christian has had it with Christmas. He is upset with all of the commercialism and he fears that he is partaking in traditions that have history in druidism. Kirk goes out to talk to him and addresses each of his concerns with historical facts and stories.
Kirk’s and Christian’s conversation is pretty entertaining to watch as Doane is actually very funny in his awkwardness. Christian rants about one subject, Kirk addresses it and then they move on to the next. Here you won’t find schmaltzy stories like the “legend of the candy cane,.” Instead, lessons on the background of many holiday traditions and little-known facts about the nativity story are presented. This is all good stuff, however, comparing the Christmas tree to the Tree of Knowledge found in the Adam and Eve story is a bit of a stretch. The argument that “just because the druids worshipped trees doesn’t mean we have to” is enough.
At just one hour and twenty minutes long, Saving Christmas feels more like a Christmas TV special than a movie and like many holiday specials, about 20 minutes of the production is filled with fluff that doesn’t really belong. These are “comedy bits” from other cast members that aren’t especially funny that should have been left out. That’s not to say that it isn’t worth watching. It is. Just don’t expect to be entertained as much as you would with another movie. The other thing is don’t wait too long to see this movie as it is only showing in theaters until November 27. (Click here to find a theater near you.)
One final thought, though the film is family-friendly, it is really geared toward adults. Parents will do better sharing the material with their children on their own level at home.