Netflix Garage: Christian Mingle Recap/Review

After last week’s weird gem Longshot (highly recommend you don’t watch), I’ve come back to the safe embrace of Netflix to watch something called Christian Mingle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Christian Mingle, it’s a website for Christians to meet and hook up (but in a Godly way). In a comforting twist, Lacey Chabert, one of Hallmark’s favorite leading ladies, heads up this film. It’s like I’m back at Countdown to Christmas but with more overt God references.

Here’s a quick synopsis of what to expect.

A marketing executive tries to find Mr. Right on a Christian dating website. When impressing her dream guy ends in disaster, Gwyneth gets in touch with her spiritual side.

Lacey is always an executive of some sort. Maybe it’s because she can pull off a pencil skirt.

We begin with Lacey’s character Gwyneth telling us about the path to God. Apparently, her path was that she was so desperate to get married, she became a Christian. We then get what feels like 20 minutes of proposal pictures.

This might be Executive Producer Matt’s proposal photo.

After the intro credits, we find Gwyneth on a date with a man who is bored to death by her nattering. He’s busy looking at other women and even goes so far to leave the date to talk to a group of them by the bar.

I think these are what Christian Mingle might call “harlots.” I think they’re just friends having drinks, but what do I know?

Gwyneth is discouraged and meets up with some of her gal pals for jalapeno poppers at the local TGI Friday’s. They advise that she bag a man soon or she risks being “the last one standing.” HEAVING SIGH. Gwyneth feels the socially imposed pressure. Her friends provide no comfort.

At home, our heroine relaxes for the night and clicks on the TV. Jesus intervenes by putting on a Christian Mingle commercial. The seed has been planted.

Jesus says, “I do!”

Gwyneth arrives to work at her advertising firm, bummed out that she didn’t get married between the TGI Friday’s bill and this morning. Her work is interrupted by her eccentric boss who has some big news: a guy who has found the “cure” for baldness potentially wants to hire their firm. The boss needs Gwyneth and her colleague to take charge of the project. Gwyneth isn’t all that jazzed about selling men fake baldness tinctures.

Any guesses as to which one is the hair cure guy and which one is the boss?

Back at her apartment, the TV blares. God intervenes once again by jamming another Christian Mingle commercial on the boob tube. Christian Mingle commercials don’t just play anywhere; you have to be watching a station or program that’s Christian-adjacent. Gwyneth is ripe for swindling.

Everyone, shut it down. We’ve found the perfect screen name and it’s HisMinistryMan.

With that, Gwyneth joins Christian Mingle. The profile setup questions throw her for a loop (what’s your church’s name?), so she heads to her local library to do some research on the Bible.

When you need Cliffs Notes for an entire religion.

She feels ready enough to go on a date. Jesus sets her up with the milquetoastiest man this side of Missouri. Red flags: this guy calls his dad “papa” and does the devil horns sign when he says he wanted to be a rock star. The date is boring, but I think we’re meant to believe they click.

At work, Gwyneth tells her coworker that the date went well. The coworker isn’t all that impressed as the whole thing is BASED ON A LIE. Gwyneth isn’t a Christian, but desperation knows no bounds.

Gwyneth calls her friends for a pep talk before her second date. They call her desperate and a liar.

She merrily heads off to a sushi bar to meet Paul, the milquetoast man. And surprise surprise, he doesn’t like sushi! This date is also boring.

Despite this, Gwyneth agrees to another date, this time at Paul’s house for…Bible study! One of the ladies, Kelly, appears to have a history with Paul. Apparently, there were some wild nights at Bible camp. Not joking. They allude to that.

Gwyneth quotes a verse with the words “sexual immorality” in it which really puts a damper on the blossoming swingers party.

This guy is well up for it.

We find Gwyneth and Paul on another date and I am bored to tears. We learn that Paul’s mom ships Kelly and Paul, but her son just isn’t into it. Gwyneth and Paul talk about how he came to Jesus. It involves rats. The story really gets them going and they share a kiss.

“Tell me the rat story again, Paul.”

The next day, Gwyneth goes shopping for church clothes with her neggy friends. To be fair, they’re right this time. Gwyneth’s choice is awful.

At church, Gwyneth meets Paul’s parents: Football Dad and Morgan Fairchild. They have a Sunday ritual called “Steak and Cake” which is where you eat steak and cake.

Truly the American dream.

Gwyneth ruins “Steak and Cake” with an awful meal prayer. The meal is double ruined by news that Paul and family are leaving for a month to play white savior and build houses for a poor village in Mexico.

Later, Morgan Fairchild warns Paul that something is “off” with Gwyneth. This is probably based on her not-perfect prayer. Judgey Mcjuderson thy name is Morgan. Paul doesn’t listen to his mom because he thinks Gwyneth is “awesome.”

“I can’t believe I raised a nerd.”

Paul repeatedly calls Gwyneth from Mexico to apologize for dropping that “I’m leaving bomb” during “Steak and Cake.” As Gwyneth is just about to cut loose from this relationship, Paul invites her south of the border. Our heroine agrees because she doesn’t want to do that hair cure job.

Ahhh, glorious Mexico!

There is an overwhelming amount of white people in Mexico. They get set up and begin playing Christian hymnals on the guitar.

“What did we do to God to deserve this?”

Gwyneth mistakes the Mexicans’ silence for contentedness and wants to know how they can be like this after a natural disaster. Paul tells her it’s because God, just God.

The next day, the family teaches a Bible study to the Mexicans with the help of a local translator. Morgan Fairchild asks the group of non-English speaking children what they think about the phrase “God is love.” A little girl understands this, presumably through the power of Christ, and asks Morgan in Spanish why He destroyed their village. Morgan now fully understands Spanish and responds with “great question.” The whole scene is baffling.

Gwyneth manages to cock up her Christian ruse by not knowing the exact reference to a verse in the book of James which apparently answers the question “why does God let bad things happen?”

Paul confronts her later in the evening to say that he knows because he found her Christian for Dummies book. He uses this opportunity to proselytize. She doesn’t immediately accept Christ, so Paul kicks her to the curb.

“Please take your souvenir poncho and leave Mexico to us white people.”

Back at work, Gwyneth struggles to believe the hair care guy, so she drops herself from the account. She then goes home to read the Bible and go to a bootleg worship service. We are treated to a Bible/worship service/feeding the homeless montage. Gwyneth is close to becoming a for-true Christian. She can soon go on Christian Mingle and date Paul.

“Hi, Paul? Jesus said yes!”

Gwyneth blindsides Paul at church to tell him that she is sorry for her deception. She throws some Bible verses at him which gives him a boner. Sadly for Gwyneth, Morgan Fairchild and Kelly sidle up to claim Paul. Kelly even holds his hand! Our heroine hastily exits.

She later meets with Paul to tell him that he shouldn’t be with Kelly because it’s too obvious. Paul clutches his pearls and tells Gwyneth that he doesn’t want to see her anymore. Gwyneth is devastated.

At home, the thunder and lightning. This means Gwyneth has hit her lowest point which is not actually that low. She receives a letter from the Mexican girl who asked that tough esoteric question. The letter features a voiceover from a girl doing AN OFFENSIVELY BAD ACCENT OF A SPANISH PERSON SPEAKING POOR ENGLISH. You honestly have to hear it yourself.

The letter convinces Gwyneth to go to Mexico and teach because teaching is what she actually wanted to do with her life.

This is how the film establishes that it is currently Christmas in Mexico. With pinata snowmen.

Gwyneth is summoned to the church for a mysterious reason. It’s Paul. The reason is Paul. He’s there to kiss Gwyneth.

“Aww yissss…”

The schoolchildren gather to hug Paul and Gwyneth. A donkey brays. FIN.

REVIEW
This is a kind of a straightforward romance with God in the middle. Lacey Chabert is doing her typical thing while Paul is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bland. My God is he boring. He was tragically born without a personality. There is no reason why Gwyneth  would be in love with him apart from pure desperation. There was no hint of chemistry. If you’re a single 30-year-old woman, Jesus will send you a Paul so be careful. As for the Christian elements, it didn’t feel as intense as I’m in Love with a Church Girl, so that’s a plus, I suppose.

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • I actually know the intro song to this. It’s by a guy named TobyMac. He looks like a Starbucks coffee Christian.
  • This film could have upped the brightness. Visually, it’s very dark. Makes me miss the intense sheen of a Hallmark film.
  • The film kicks off during Christmas and swiftly moves into the New Year. We still see a Christmas tree in the background of Gwyneth’s apartment. Either the continuity guys were off on holiday or Gwyneth is just like the rest of us and doesn’t throw out her tree until March.
  • At my Bible school, there was a thing called “Bible Drills” where a person called out a verse and you had to find it the fastest. I was always very good at that. I feel like I should write a sitcom about Christian school.
  • They say awesome SO much in this film.
  • Do these people have unlimited flights to Mexico?? How do they pay for all of this?
  • The donkey does bray at the end. Again there’s a lot of stuff that I wrote that aren’t jokes.