Reading Time: 21 minutes

Well! After a fun viewing of this movie Second Glance, here’s the mega-review of it in all its glory. Come with me to a land of 80s hair, mom jeans, and polo shirts, of house parties that are basically one step rowdier than a Jenga competition, and a pouty, petulant, whinybutt of a hero who catches his god’s attention at a very important moment.

This Was Probably a Failed Pilot At One Point.

I’m already only 18 seconds into this movie and someone needs to explain that blue footwear to me. Are they shoes? Are they socks? How has she managed to keep the doggie ears and laces together? There are spikes on the soles, so I guess they’re outdoor socks?

I'm gonna need an explanation on these socks, including purchasing information (for references purposes)
I’m gonna need an explanation on these socks, including purchasing information (for reference purposes).

Whatever the case, a girl (? could be a boy?) in weird blue dog socks is tiptoeing through a room at 6:59, presumably in the morning. The music is playful but also silly, and far more suited to a sitcom than to a movie.

It is indeed a girl in a big baggy satin nightshirt. She reaches over to turn off the alarm while David A.R. White sleeps. The camera cuts to her creeping out and giggling at him before closing his door. Also: need to discuss that really girlie wallpaper juxtaposed with the blue chambray striped light fixture.

My god. He’s just so young.

The alarm goes off a minute later. Turns out she didn’t turn it off; she just turned the volume way up. He has a wacky opening scene of waking up in shock, trying to turn off the alarm, and falling out of bed. HOW QUIRKY!

This room is way too neat. Needs about 99% more wadded up socks under the bed at least. He scrambles to the kitchen table where the rest of his nice little nuclear family is eating breakfast: his father in a suit shirt and tie, his mother dressed like June Cleaver of all things, and the sister in a properly 80s kitted-out ensemble. David has a small spat with his little sister over the alarm clock situation, and her scorn could light the Empire State Building in rainbows for days. (I’m just going to call the mother character June, since she is given no other name that I caught; the father is hereby christened Ward.)

June's got a busy day today what with the Nazi Day Camp and all.
June’s got a busy day today what with the Nazi Day Camp and all.

Let’s face it: David A.R. White is as scary as strawberry-banana toothpaste.

June notes that David was out late last night and David tries to give an excuse about “helping a friend study for a big English test” that day. The sister notes helpfully that he was helping Tamara. She says it like that too, all italicized. When challenged, David says she’s just a friend; the sister knows that he’s totally crushing on her and teases him with the “Danny and Tamara sittin’ in a tree” tease. David, since he is as threatening as a Keebler Elf, demands that his father “shut her up,” and the father does so. The only character names we’ve gotten so far are David’s character, who is named Danny, and the sister, who is Jenny, and only because the two kids are bickering. (Incidentally, I am going to call the character David because I can’t be arsed to remember anything else.)

When the sister leaves to do something else, probably put gravel in David’s shoes, the father asks how he’s doing in the hunt for love, but he says it in a very veiled way. David whines that Tamara just sees him as “a nice guy” and nobody wants to date “a, well, you know. My tombstone is going to read ‘Here lies Dan Burgess, a real nice guy’… and a lonely one too.”

I’m trying to remember when boys began talking about the friendzone and to whine about how nobody wants to date “nice guys,” and I’m coming up blank for my own high school days. Did it start at the beginning of the 90s? Hell, I was married around then and definitely not dating anyway.

Jenny pops back up at the end of the scene to cap it by singing the rest of the kissing song, at which point all three remaining characters will solemnly intone “JENNY.”


David leaves amid some keyboard music that I could have probably banged out on a basic Casio-style electronic keyboard (I didn’t have one and I couldn’t play piano for beans but I’d seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and certainly knew the concepts; I had my eye on one that had drum circle thingies on it but never could bring myself to ask for it). The credits play over the scene of him getting into this Gremlin or Pinto style hatchback that is just as boring and whitebread as the character is, at which point we realize that his parents must make some good money because that is a NICE neighborhood and a NICE house with all the late-80s fixin’s that I would have wanted. Was it the Christiano Brothers’ pastor’s house or something? I bet it was.

By the way, I’ve looked up the character of “Muriel” listed here–Blaine Pickett. Though he gets super-special billing and is arguably the most important character in this dreck, this was the actor’s first movie. His second and last role was that of an ad salesman in The People vs. Larry Flynt. So he’s not exactly a Christian-movie actor. I’m going to judge him by how well Lorenzo Lamas would have done the role.

David drives past a neighbor who is gardening and greets her by name; she turns and greets him back. HE’S SO NICE Y’ALL.  The music starts sounding almost Christmassy or church-marching-choir. Also I don’t think David uses turn signals. Not following driving laws is a sin, David.

This screenplay, we learn at this point, had FOUR WRITERS including Rich Christiano.

School Days, School Days, Good Old Golden Rule Days.

David parks at his school. A pair of kids is going in ahead of him, a guy and girl in peak 80s gear: untucked Izod-style pink polo on the guy, baggy thin-woven tucked-in shirt and mom jeans on the girl. I tell you: I owned this outfit in numerous iterations in the late 80s before going fundie. Had her hair too.

We have no idea who these people are and will probably never see them again. Treasure them while you can, these 80s fashion icons.
We have no idea who these people are and will probably never see them again. Treasure them while you can, these 80s fashion icons.

A kid in a striped Izod-style polo shirt comes up to David and demands to know how the previous night went with Tamara. David tells him sullenly that they just studied, and that’s all. Another kid–who looks like he’s really about 35 years old–asks if he can cheat off of him on the test, and David declines that honor. The cheater is wearing a tie-dyed-looking button-down shirt over a t-shirt; the button-down functions as a sort of open jacket here. And yes, I wore that too in the mid-80s.

I asked Mr. Captain if he'd worn shirts as jackets in the early 90s. He said no, he did the whole self-respect thing instead.
I asked Mr. Captain if he’d worn shirts as jackets in the early 90s. He said no, he did the whole self-respect thing instead.

Now we come into the main conceit of the movie.

As David and his friend walk into the busy, crowded halls of the school, David whines to his friend that he totally doesn’t understand Doug (the 35-year-old cheater, I’m guessing). David says, “I mean, I don’t understand it. He mocks God, yet he gets all the girls and he’s got a great car and everybody bows down to him… he’s got it all!”

And up till now, there has been no indication whatsoever that David is an super-mega-really-really-fervent Christian.

He hasn’t prayed. Hasn’t opened his Bible. Hasn’t talked about religion. Hasn’t done a single thing that looks out of place for a regular student. But suddenly out of left field we get this total frustration-for-Jesus.

We’ve talked before about how Christians see the world in terms of justice, punishment, and rewards given to those who merit them all in one way or another. David is here reciting the standard-issue form of fundagelicalism, which posits that those who reject their demands for compliance will suffer–mightily–while those who accept those demands by obeying them will gain in various material and emotional ways. David’s complying, but he doesn’t see the rewards he thinks he should be getting.

Oh boy, d’you think David is gonna learn that those who reject fundagelicals’ demands do actually suffer on the inside, despite their apparent success in the world? Or will he learn that he should be following Christianity because it’s just what he should do, not in hopes of getting a reward? Or both?

I bet both. (Spoiler: I will be bitterly disappointed.)

His friend turns to face him and says, with all the earnestness of a pastor, “No man. Doug’s got nothin’ if you don’t have the Lord.” He slurs the words in a way that tells me that he’s said this sentence a lot in real life–or else is very embarrassed to be giving this line of dialogue, as wooden and clunky as it is. It comes out with all the mechanical rote recitation quality of a pledge to the flag. David blows him off and walks away, and the friend calls after him, “We have to keep trying to reach him!” (A student who looks like a ridden-hard 30 years old walks behind him with a face full of makeup and peak 80s hair. It’s the best.)

David gets whiny and pissy at him and turns on him to state the obvious: that their extreme religiosity doesn’t appear to be affecting anybody. Which it probably isn’t. And which it probably shouldn’t. Statistically, that whole school is probably almost entirely Christian. Hell, most of them are probably actually the same general kind of Christian that these two characters think is the right kind. The guy they’re talking about, Doug, the 35-year-old dude in the tie-dyed button-down shirt, probably is Christian already as well.

As David says this, the friend’s mouth just hangs open like he is SHOCKED YES SHOCKED WELL I NEVER. This level of reproachfulness is best deployed during discussions of potential paternity.

OH well I NEVER gyah how could you I just can't believe this

I am just mesmerized by the earnest look on this kid’s face, by the way. It’s absolutely astonishing. I’m betting the guy is like 25 at least and probably is a preacher or something somewhere. But the scene is hilarious all the same because it’s two teens talking with deadly seriousness about this imaginary friend they both share. The friend just looks so shocked and hurt. It’s completely out of proportion to the discussion at hand.

Very quickly it becomes crystal-clear that these two boys are not only platinum-level dweebs but also the emotional equivalent of chair-sniffing weirdos. It’s not hard at all to see why they haven’t had a lot of luck proselytizing in their school. These two clearly grew up in religion, which is why they’re able to compartmentalize their beliefs and behaviors this effectively.

The friend takes his GYAHHH face into a classroom. David goes to his locker. A blonde woman who is easily in her 20s stops by to thank David for helping her last night–this is Tamara. David’s eyes light up and he looks so befuddled and pleased that I wonder if he was kinda crushing on the actress herself. It’s the most natural reaction shot from David A.R. White that I’ve ever seen in this blog’s entire lifetime. (Remember, the actress playing Tamara was also a production assistant on this movie–he probably saw a lot of her around the set, consequently!)

Just as David decides to go for the gusto and ask her out, riding that wave of goodwill she’s displayed toward him, the 35-year-old cheater dude in the floppy tie-dye shirt (Doug) comes over with a friend to put the moves on Tamara, asking her if she’s going to some party coming up. Of course she is. I gather she’s dating Doug or they’ve got some kind of history. The guy hosting the party asks if David’s coming–so obviously he was invited, or at least had some understanding that he’d be welcome if he did attend. David said that he doesn’t think so, and the party host teases him about his mother not letting him out of the house on a school night.

Now here’s where the scene gets interesting: Doug, who–remember–is the special target of evangelism by David and his friend, and who has rejected those two boys’ sales attempts, teases David about having to rest up for his weekend of religious tomfoolery. Then all three kids leave–Doug with an arm around Tamara’s shoulders, her arm around his waist, and the party host walking behind the happy couple, all while David steams and simmers in his own lust and resentment.

Blessed Be the Pacemakers.

Mr. Milner, the English teacher, walks up behind David and recites poetry at him about young love. Legit if this happened today we’d all assume such a teacher was, um, weird. David doesn’t think so. The teacher is absolutely the best actor in this entire piece, incidentally. His contempt for the students he teaches and the public-school system that has trapped him professionally lights fires that could be seen from Asgard.

We follow David through his day. He moons at Tamara, who doesn’t return his constant glances. JFC this kid is a creeper. In the library, a super-cute blonde girl strikes up a conversation (she’s almost certainly the real love interest, the one who’s been under David’s nose all along and who’s really right for him, not that worldly girl Tamara). A bunch of David’s Christian friends rib him about Tamara, with one (Todd) telling him that there’s no way in the world that Tamara would lower herself to date a “nice guy” like David; she’s got her eyes set on Doug instead. David huffs away with his friends, leaving the blonde girl alone to whisper to herself, “I like nice guys….”

Poor baby.
Poor baby.

A huge male student is rocking back and forth in one class because he’s completely pissed that David’s friend (the one who looks like a pastor, whose name we learn is Ricky) is talking to his girlfriend Melanie. He thinks Ricky is trying to steal his girl, and he is rocking back and forth in his comically-undersized desk like he’s Jewish or something, glaring to the point of squinting so hard he can’t see. And his name is…. Bull. Yes, that’s our super-brilliant Christiano writing at work! Like everyone else in this cast except David, Bull looks easily ten years older than our hero. David calms him down and almost gets beaten up in the process.

At the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting that afternoon, David loses his shit at the club members because they’re not evangelizing as much as he thinks they should about a movie they’re showing soon. Remember, this school is probably almost all Christian already, and probably mostly the “right” kind of Christian. David blows off a new convert he’s managed to make at the school, Scotty, who gives him a White Power salute and says “Jesus, man!” as he leaves. And he manages to ask Tamara out, and she gives him the “just a friend and a real nice guy” speech and tells him that some girl will be “very lucky” to have him as a boyfriend–but it’s clear she doesn’t envision herself as that lucky girl.

There's no universe where this gesture is okay.
There’s no universe where this gesture is okay.

During Mr. Milner’s test, by the way, he has the funniest quote of the movie so far: “All right, students! It is time for all of you to destroy my waning faith in the American educational system. It’s time for me to realize that there’s about as much interest in English literature as there is in taking prune juice.” I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie just about this character. He is awesome–reminds me of my own favorite English teacher from high school. Doug’s friend, the party host, throws a note to Tamara. David picks it up and Milner, of course, blames David for writing it. It’s the answers to the test questions, of course.

And then Milner loses all of the credit he’s earned with me, as he yells at David. See, he thought that David’s super-duper-fervent religiosity made him a better person, and now he thinks David totally was trying to help Tamara cheat on the test, which is of course very hypocritical. David totally wasn’t, but the teacher won’t be convinced. He ends up suspended.

The Big Conflict Scene.

When David’s dad yells at him that night for getting suspended, David responds that he’s just too nice and nobody likes him and he’s “not impacting anyone for Christ!” The dad reproaches him for self-pity, and David whines that he’s “missing all the fun” that his peers are having.

This is the Big Meltdown Conflict Scene, where David lays out the issue as he sees it: by being such a doofus-for-Jesus, he’s missing out on a lot of experiences. His father clearly disagrees, saying with disgust that he’s just “missing all the sin,” but David’s seeing the reality of the situation a lot better than his dad is (now that I’m a lot older, I look back and it’s hard to imagine how much trouble any of the kids at this school could possibly be getting into–maybe a bit of underage drinking and unapproved sex?).

David comes off as being very sorry for himself and very whiny, but that’s really just a matter of degrees really at this point. He’s presented as our hero, as the good guy, but he’s absolutely terrible. He’s petulant, he blows off his friends and yells at them, he creeps all over some poor girl at his school, and he’s so hung up on evangelizing his schoolmates that only the doofuses-for-Jesus like him actually appear to enjoy being around him in any way. It’s not his faith that’s alienated people and caused him to miss out on the fun they’re having; it’s just him, and he deserves all of the blame for almost all of his problems. But I don’t think the Christiano Brothers realize that the problem isn’t Jesus here. They appear to think that it’s solely this kid’s gung-ho-for-Jesus faith that is pushing people away from him.

He tries to read his Bible, but can’t push the events of the day from his mind. He throws down his Bible and pouts, “Why do they get to have all the fun? I wish I was never a believer.” And with that he goes to bed. The windows open mysteriously in the middle of the night.


David wakes up dressed in orange tie-dye-looking clothes with a backwards baseball cap on his head. His room’s a MESS. And there’s an absolutely bizarre anime-style portrait on the wall above his bed. Otherwise, it’s the same exact room with the same weird wallpaper and light fixture and all that, just it’s now a mess with odd art choices.

I have no idea in the world what that poster is supposed to be.
I have no idea in the world what that poster is supposed to be.

He walks out to the kitchen, where he sees boxes of old pizza on the table, open cans of Coca-Cola, and dishes everywhere in the sink and on the counters. His mom’s written him a note saying she’ll be gone till 5 (probably because she’s working, like any other godless hussy of a mother) and made him some rocklike biscuits (probably from a can of dough, not from scratch like a proper god-fearing woman would). As he’s cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, a man appears behind him in the driveway.

This weird, way too happy-flappy guy says he’s Muriel and that David’s prayer was answered: he’s now a worldly youth and can now do what he wants. His “new friends” Doug and the party-host kid drive up (in a Jeep, the car choice for assholes, I guess, in the Christiano View Askew-like universe) to pick him up for school, but they aren’t “known for their patience,” as the beatifically-beaming Muriel tells him. David magically appears in their Jeep’s back seat and they rush off to school. I mean that he magically appears there like he was hurled into the back seat. His arms fly up and everything as he lands. No explanation is given here. The trio of boys harass the lady gardening, who does not take it well.

When they get to the school, David literally falls out of the Jeep trying to disembark. HAHA HE’S TOO GODLY TO KNOW HOW TO JUMP OUT OF A JEEP Y’ALL.


This fall is my new favorite thing ever. It’s like there is no elevated surface that David A.R. White gets up onto that he doesn’t fall from in this movie.

Inside the school, he watches his new friends Doug and Whozit harass the cute blonde girl from the library, who swans away from them. Oh, and Tamara is totally now David’s girlfriend–and she is a demanding one.

The Saddest Rich Boy in the World.

So David’s got everything he wanted. And yet he’s still sad and self-pitying.

He asks a guy in one class where Ricky is, and the kid tells him that Ricky got beaten to the point of hospitalization by Bull, who thought Ricky was hitting on his girlfriend the day before. See? SEE? David wasn’t there to talk him down! This is what happens!

As he looks away in consternation, a little pixie twinkle of music shimmers through the soundtrack.

When he goes to the room where the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting was scheduled to be, he barges into a Home Economics class meeting there for their regular class period. The teacher drives him out; she has no idea what he’s talking about when he says the club name. Yes, because no public high school teachers in 1992 have ever heard of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Pixie twinkle shimmer of music #2 sounds as he stares blankly outside the Home Ec classroom door.

Muriel, who by the way is costumed in a shirt that is, I kid you not, off-brand Star Trek (which is logical given that he looks like a slightly pudgier Bruce Boxleitner), appears in the hall to tell David that “there is no FCA.” See, David wasn’t there to start it, so it didn’t exist at this school–just as he wasn’t “sensitive to” stuff like bullies in a misplaced rage, so he didn’t calm Bull down yesterday, so he beat Ricky up.

Just tell me this is a normal expression for a human being to make. Just try.
Just tell me this is a normal expression for a human being to make. Just try. There is no non-profane read I can make of this. And it just. gets. worse.

Muriel explains that “the Heavenly Father answered your prayers last night,” while he looks up to his right in a truly weirdtacular way. There’s no other way to describe that expression. David still doesn’t understand what’s going on, of course.

oh my god we are only halfway through this thing

A third pixie twinkle of music sounds as the camera pans over the place in the lunchroom where, I guess, the Doofuses for Jesus typically sat. It is ominously empty now. I don’t know.

Bull’s girlfriend tells David she totally really needs to see him that night–the night he’s taking Tamara to that party. He tries to refuse, citing fear of Bull, but she pushes hard for him to visit (she says her parents aren’t there that night, which is universal teen-speak for “I am so DTF” in any generation, I suspect). He flees.

In English class, the kids get their scores back from “the big test” earlier–Tamara, David, Doug, and the party host kid all got 100s (the teacher thinks they cheated but can’t prove it so they get away with whatever they did in this alternate universe). The teacher is not Mr. Milner, though. When David asks, Doug tells him that they “drove Milner crazy” and he quit several months previously. David looks sad.

The boys leave campus and that’s when David finds out that Bull’s girlfriend is his piece on the side–and that neither she nor Tamara know that he’s dating both of them. At the burger place they go to, David sees Mr. Milner–taking orders as a waiter, dressed in a fast-food uniform. Milner hates him! Turns out they vandalized his car somehow–and that Milner knows it was them though he can’t prove it. There’s a hint that their prank could have hurt someone. No wonder he quit; I would too if I thought my students were a real threat to my safety.

When David gets home, his mom is leaving for a date with “Wes.” She’s not married to his dad anymore. Oh, and his sister doesn’t exist. Mom hopes he has fun at the party that night and is whisked away.

Muriel shows up to tell him his car is very nice, and it is–a sleek little red sportscar. David finally gets a few answers. And they are infuriating answers.

These by the way are preacher eyebrows, if you wanted to know.
These by the way are preacher eyebrows, if you wanted to know. What is wrong with this guy’s mouth

Rage with me: David’s prayers were all that held his parents’ marriage together. He wasn’t Christian, so his god decided to let the marriage dissolve. (Muriel’s way of talking bothers me a lot. It’s like he’s consciously exerting effort to talk with the corners of his mouth pressed together. Between that and his chronic case of Preacher Eyebrows, it makes him quite brickable.)

Surprisingly, David’s okay with all this if it means he’s popular and has friends and a cool car and his dream girl.

The Party.

David dresses in a purple silk shirt that makes him look like a pimp and picks his poodle-do to immaculate perfection and marinates himself in cologne in an extended bathroom scene. And indeed, the party we’ve been promised for a half hour is a really busy one with lots of underage drinking. David is the life of the party–he’s still exactly the same person. All that’s changed is his religious beliefs. But now everyone likes him and wants to be around him.

Bull’s girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend (Melanie), comes to the party looking for David. She encounters Tamara and they have a catfight over David. Melanie wins by announcing that she’s pregnant, the baby is David’s, and she expects that they’ll be getting married soon. Even Tamara is shocked.

Normally, I gather that in a teen sitcom from that period, there'd be a voice over to exclaim that wow, David's really in trouble now! Gosh, whatever will he do?!?
Normally, I gather that in a teen sitcom from that period, there’d be a voice over to exclaim that wow, David’s really in trouble now! Gosh, whatever will he do?!?

A minute later, Melanie admits privately to David that she lied about it. He rejects her and she storms off. They break up, with Tamara informing him that she sure didn’t go out with him “because you were a nice guy” but rather because he was popular. Meanwhile, Melanie calls Bull to tell him that Danny lied to her about Bull’s faithfulness to break them up. (This is probably also a lie.)

Doug and the party dude try to tell David that “girls are like buses–one comes along every ten minutes,” cuz that’s exactly what godless heathen men are like, amirite?

Okay so obviously this is the huge crisis point of the movie but can we talk about this flamingo wall hanging for a minute too because it is the late 80s in a nutshell.
Okay so obviously this is the huge crisis point of the movie but can we talk about this flamingo wall hanging for a minute too because it is the late 80s in a nutshell.

Of course, Bull and his pals show up to beat the shit out of David.

Oh, and a girl yells at him for being dismissive of Scotty’s sister–remember Scotty, the Jesus-freak convert? Well, in this world he never converted, so he committed suicide. See, David wasn’t there to convert him.


When Bull finds him at the party, David runs like hell. The bullies pursue him in their Jeep Cherokee-looking car (see? SEE? Jeep is the automaker of infidels!). Doug is charmingly concerned for his friend, by the way. He’s not a bad dude at all in this movie. He’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s almost like the movie goes out of its way to have his friend (the guy hosting the party) do most of the actual teasing. It’s hard to see why he’s viewed as a bad guy here.

For some reason David runs on foot, eventually reaching a locked-up church. Bull catches up to him and he blithers in his terror that he never touched Melanie or got her pregnant, and Bull acts totally confused by this behavior.

The pixie twinkle music plays as David slowly realizes that Bull is not trying to kill him anymore (and maybe he even notices that he’s wearing that baggy blue t-shirt he had on in the first school scene). Bull says he was just driving past and saw David freaking out at the church doors, so stopped to see if David needed help. David lets Bull help him to his feet, listening in shock as Bull tells him, “Don’t you go losing it! You’re the only guy who’s got it together around here!”

Once Bull is gone, Muriel comes back and David rushes up to him to ask if everything’s back in place (he sounds exactly like Dorothy waking back up in Kansas after her adventure). Muriel is still talking with the corners of his mouth pressed closed and his preacher eyebrows are in their final form, but yes, everything’s fine. He asks in turn: Does David still wish he’d been an unbeliever???

Oh gosh no mister!

Muriel tells him that his request was very “unwise.” But “God” had chosen to answer it anyway. Screw all those kids with cancer, right? Some suburban teenager was upset about missing a party!

Muriel manages to totally out-creep himself next when he delivers a Purity Culture lecture to David, advising him to abstain from dating till he’s ready to get married, and to abstain from sex entirely till marriage and to seek a pure virgin to marry because that will “maximize your pleasure.” (Citation needed!) Also David needs to evangelize harder and be a good example to his pals in school even if he doesn’t feel like he is having much of an impact because he totally is. This sermon is delivered with the most ickie expression you can possibly imagine on a human face. It almost doesn’t look human. If you asked the world’s best portrait artist to make a living representation of the term “Sanctimonious Dillweed,” it’d come out looking like any given frame with Muriel in it. He can jump off a pier and take his Star Trek shirt with him.

Incidentally, this sermon is very close to 10% of this movie’s runtime.

Muriel ends by telling him that the end of the world is coming really soon so he needs to make sure he’s on the stick and doing everything he can to save everybody from the torture that their “loving” god will be dishing out.

I just keep thinking about a plot twist:

What if Muriel is actually Lucifer in disguise?

Back At the Ranch.

At home, David’s asleep. He’s got his lame little car, his clean room, and his sister–who creeps in with red socks and pink ballet slippers to prank his alarm clock. His sister is back. His mom and dad are married. His sister’s alive. The gardening neighbor likes him again.

His preacher-boy friend tells him he seems very “pumped-up for Jesus.” Newly energized, David pressures Doug to visit the FCA to watch that Christian movie they’re showing later. After a show of ferocity from David, Doug agrees to come to the meeting. The bad guy loosens up with a “gee what am I gonna do with that guy” smirk straight out of The Sopranos and walks away. David asks out the cute blonde girl from the library even though there hasn’t been a single hint that he’s attracted to her in any way; the request just comes out of left field with no build-up.

As the blonde girl is exulting in her victory (someone noted that she forgot to close her locker!), the camera pans to a movie poster on the school hallway’s wall for The Appointment. Out of curiosity I went poking around and discovered that this is another Christiano Brothers movie, made the year before in 1991. It’s a 40-minute movie about a journalist who writes mean ole atheist editorials for her newspaper, as you do, and one day an angel tells her that she’s going to die at a particular time. Seriously. The movie’s about what she does with the remaining 8 days of her life. And from what I remember of a review of it I saw somewhere, she does actually die at the end. It’s awful. The Christiano Brothers put their own previous terrible movie into their own current terrible movie. How do you top that for sheer arrogance?

the appointment by the christiano brothers of course

Worse, though, this is the movie that the FCA is flogging all over the school. This is the movie that David pressured Doug to come watch by telling him that it had the answers Doug seeks. It barely qualifies as a movie. I can’t even. Oh, but then we see that Scotty’s alive again and he and David give each other Nazi salutes–just like Scotty gave earlier!


At least the movie’s short. Its ending wraps up whatever loose ends the Christiano Brothers noticed and hooray we’re done. And there’s an endcard explaining that Christians should be obnoxious gits to everyone around themselves precisely for the results that had David whining at the beginning of the movie. We’re going to take up next time with the real message of this movie, because it is not what is on that endcard. But for now, I say goodnight: this is where we disembark.

It's obvious they wanted this to look like It's a Wonderful Life, but this endcard demonstrates that they didn't even come close.
It’s obvious they wanted this to be like It’s a Wonderful Life, but this endcard demonstrates that they didn’t even come close.


Pixie Twinkle Music: 3/10

Sanctimonious creepy angels: 0/10

David’s various pratfalls: 10/10

Infuriating theology: 0/10

It’s a Wonderful Life parallels: 0/10

Mom jeans: so, so, so many mom jeans

80s Fashion: fully engaged, Captain

Credits for “Super Extras”: No, I don’t know why either

Lorenzo Lamas: would have been at least 50% less brickable (just as an illustration, here is Lorenzo Lamas)

TOTAL: 13/50

ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...