Jesus Isn't Sexy Anymore
Dir. John Henry Davis
Str. Brendan Hines, A. Martinez, Elizabeth Banks,
Kris Park, Joshua Harto
Sometimes it is amazing that a movie ever gets made, or
that an actor ever finds work. We all know that Hollywood
is a machine, which churns out movies tailored to the masses,
but if you stand back a look at what they've been doing
lately, it's a little alarming. Take Jennifer Lopez as an
example, and her trifecta of tripe. First there was the
visually nauseating Cell, then the emotionally deadening
Enough, and finally (so we hope) Maid In Manhattan, one
of the few movies in celluloid history entirely based on
So we look to the indie to give us hope. Sometimes we find
it, sometimes we see a film that transcends its form and
redefines its genre. Sometimes, however, we find Ordinary
Sinner, a flick born out of the curious notion that there
just aren't enough movies about gay priests these days.
A. Martinez (who my sister will recognize from L.A. Law)
stars as Father Ed a fierce crusader against homophobia
in the church. If you don't figure out what the message
of the movie is within five minutes, don't worry; you'll
be hit over the head with it at least twenty times. Of course
it's not just a two-hour message. There's a 'plot' too.
Ordinary Sinner fumbles and lurches from one genre of film
to the next, unwittingly mocking each of them as it goes.
At first it's basically just a Very Special Episode Of Seventh
Heaven. The protagonist, Peter (Heins), has lost his faith
and left seminary school because a gay teenager (Harto)
he was counseling killed a drag-queen-prostitute for some
reason never fully explained. The director, Davis, seemingly
at random intervals, throws in black and white flash-backs
to Peter's times with the teen which do nothing to further
either the plot or Peter's character. The unexplained anguish
of his past never really manifests itself as an emotion
or a traumatic episode in Heins' performance, rather it's
just taken for granted that we understand what's going on.
The same is true of every character - it is assumed that
we understand them based on ultra-poor dialogue and acting
that makes the post-gerbil Richard Gere look brilliant.
After a while the movie meanders into a fairly classic
teenage love triangle, between Peter, Rachel (Banks) and
Peter's best friend from forever, Alex (Park). Particularly
amazing is the scene where the three of them almost kiss.
At the same time!? No you didn't! And then it really started
to dip low. About half way through Ordinary Sinner I got
this weird feeling that at any moment the gay porn music
was going to start playing and everyone was going to get
it on. Boy, wouldn't that have been nice. I think it had
something to do with the bales of hay, but I'm not sure.
And finally it turns into a mystery more idiotic than the
Scoobie-Doo episodes featuring Scrappy, with a "twist"
so "shocking" you'll literally want to kill yourself.
Manhattans (sans the maid)
That's what I had to drink to make it through the movie.
My notes on the film deteriorated as the screening progressed.
By the end the only legible note I have written is "Buzz
aimlessly wandering minds
In an effort to not fall asleep I found myself thinking
of many different things. Like 'Boy that wine they're drinking
sure looks like Kool-Aid." And then 'Oh my god! Duff
Man from The Simpsons was obviously inspired by the Kool-aid
guy from when we were kids!" And then 'OH YEAH!'
Hot Guy on Guy Action
Along with plot, character, comprehension, or acting, some
good old gay sex is one of the many things that might have
made this movie bearable.
and a half very frustrated hipsters
While on the surface this is a pointless, awful movie, worth
not even a single Bedfordite, I had too much fun watching
Ordinary Sinner. And it deserves some marks for that. Just
make sure you're nice and liquored up before you take this
one off the shelf.