CHURCH PEOPLE Movie Review (2021)

Weary from the showiness and materialism that has overtaken his ministry efforts, Guy goes on a journey to get back in touch with the heart of ministry and be a real role model to his youth group kids.

When Guy attempts to return to regular youth ministry, he is thrust into the throes of dissuading his pastor from performing a strange and potentially blasphemous stunt for the upcoming Easter service.

About CHURCH PEOPLE

Synopsis: A heartfelt and laugh-out-loud comedy film, CHURCH PEOPLE is the story of real people with real struggles and their unique paths to discovering what faith in Jesus is all about. It all starts out when “America’s Youth Pastor,” Guy Sides, realized he’s stuck in the megachurch marketing machine and wants to find his passion again.

Starring: Thor Ramsey, Erin Cahill, Michael Monks, Joey Fatone

Rated: NR but probably PG
Running time: 96 minutes

Target audience: Evangelical Christians

Review and Analysis

Story

There’s some solid story-telling but at times it takes some strange turns. This is a comedy and they’re going way over the top with some of the situations but at times it feels like they’re going too far. There’s a blooming romance that’s not set up so it comes out of nowhere. The biggest letdown of this film is that a pastor that’s abused his power gets off scot-free. The story over-emphasizes forgiveness at the end and says nothing about accountability.

Characters

Many of the characters are “avatars” of people you’d find in a church. The overly-friendly greeter played by Stephen Baldwin is my favorite. There’s also a character played by Donald Faison that will give you the willies. I won’t go into details about all of them but know that most people you’d typically find in a church, you’ll find here. These caricatures of typical “church people” were my favorite part of the movie.

Themes

The driving theme in this movie is “Is the Gospel Enough?” CHURCH PEOPLE takes aim at churches that use gimmicks that water down the message of the gospel. There are themes of forgiveness weaved in the movie too but the primary focus is the lengths some churches will go to in order to draw a crowd.

Execution

Most of the acting is good. There weren’t a lot of times when I thought the acting was bad. There are a few actors you’ll recognize and their performances help lift the performances of the others. Technical details like the sets, camerawork, and sound design were all good too.

Appeal

This is clearly targeted at “church people” and I don’t think anyone else outside of church culture would get any of the jokes. I think most families would enjoy this movie. It’s on par with Hallmark channel productions.

Final Thoughts

While CHURCH PEOPLE highlights an ongoing problem in the church through comedy and parody, it fails to deliver a fulfilling resolution because there are no consequences for the guilty parties.

John

Husband, Dad, Podcaster, Blogger, Writer, and Speaker struggling every day to follow Jesus.

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