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May 10th, 2014
04:00 AM ET

The next chapter in faith films: comedy

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Contributing Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(CNN) - A new movie genre debuts at the box office this weekend: the Christian comedy.

"Moms’ Night Out" starring Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin is opening on more than 1,000 screens, and it aims to do something no other Christian major motion picture has endeavored to do: make you laugh. On purpose.

There has been no shortage of laughably bad Christian movies. "Left Behind," anyone?

From “The Passion of the Christ,” to “Fireproof,” to “Courageous,” the genre has historically leaned heavily on biblical epics and inspiration to stir the faithful, or evangelical fare designed convert the masses.

But "Moms’ Night Out" is entirely different, a PG-rated comedy about the hijinks of middle-class Christian families, ordinary folks living ordinary lives. Astin called the movie "ballsy" for focusing on this demographic.

"Middle-class Christian families in America have every right to have their lives reflected on film," Astin said. "A lot of people will look at this movie and wouldn't see it as evangelical polemic."

In the film, three moms, played by Sarah Drew, Andrea Logan White and Heaton, need a break from diapers and messes and teenagers - never mind the societal pressure of being a perfect Christian parent. Desperate for a night out, they hit the town only to have their plans foiled by a missing baby, a car chase, their husbands, and cops with a Taser.  There are laughs, there are tears and there is a bright hopeful message for parents: God loves you even in your imperfections and you are not alone.

Heaton said, “It’s nice to have this perspective because raising kids is sort of an unsung job. We need to constantly remember what an important job that is, because it’s not glamorous and it’s repetitive and it can be really difficult. ... To get through the toddler, baby stage is really hard. You’re exhausted. So I think this movie is going to be really encouraging to some people.”

Only at the end of the movie do you realize there were no sex jokes, no romps through strip clubs, and no crass profanity - bread and butter for success comedies in the last decade. (Or even this same weekend, as the raunchy “Neighbors” hits theaters, too.)

“Moms’ Night Out” is squeaky-clean family fun. And TriStar Pictures and its imprint AFFIRM films are betting there is a vast, untapped audience of people - just like the ones on the screen - hungry for this type of film.

But unlike other films with more direct Christian messages, churches are much less likely to buy out theaters in bulk as they did for "Son of God" and "God's Not Dead," a move that brought those films big returns at the box office.

Not to mention, “Moms’ Night Out” has already taken heat from Christian reviewers who complained it is not Christian enough and secular reviewers who said it was unfunny and anti-feminist.

“We went in with eyes wide open and recognized this is uncharted territory," said Rich Peluso, senior vice president of AFFIRM Films.

A string of hits

Faithy films have paid off big this year at the box office. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's re-edit of their History Channel miniseries "Son of God" took in $60 million. "God's Not Dead," decried by critics as campy, was a hit with the people who matter most to studios - ticket purchasers. The film has brought in $55 million. Not bad for a movie with a $2 million budget, and Kevin Sorbo and the "Duck Dynasty" guys on the marquee.

Then there is "Heaven is for Real," which was produced in part by megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes and stars Greg Kinnear. The film took in $67 million, a surprise hit that was buoyed in part by a built-in audience familiar with the bestselling book the movie is based on.

CNN Belief: Does God have a prayer in Hollywood?

"Noah" had Academy Award-nominated director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) and a massive $125 million budget, but was a bust with Christian audiences domestically. The biblical epic made only $99 million in the U.S. but was hit on overseas, where it took in $230 million.

"Moms’ Night Out" is hoping to catch this rising tide, but the challenges facing the film are great.

Funny is hard

“I think they’re up against a big wall," said Kerri Pomarolli, a comedian living in Los Angeles.

"The same people who are watching 'Mom’s Night Out' are secretly Netflixing [R-rated comedy fare like] 'Identity Theft' and 'This is 40,’” she joked.

But Pomarolli knows this audience well. She is a mother and Christian who plays her comedy act clean and has appeared everywhere from “The Tonight Show” to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

“It’s a challenge to write clean,” she said, because “you just want to be funny.”

She calls this film a "valiant effort," and has written a tie-in devotional book to the film for Christian moms.

“The audiences are conditioned to laugh at dirty stuff. They can’t even do innuendo. That crowd would have judged them if they had anything even remotely naughty.”

For this film to be a hit it will actually need to be funny to a wide audience, said Kutter Callaway, a professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

"Part of what is necessary for humor, and why Christians do it so bad, is there needs to be a tension there. There needs to be something dark or a tragic that makes life funny,” he said.

“Christians struggle with humor just like they struggle with how to posture themselves with anything that is dark or provocative,” he said.

Co-directors Andy and Jon Erwin look on as Sean Astin and Kevin Downes rehearse a scene for 'Moms' Night Out.'

Christian filmmakers have a tendency to scrub the darkness and focus on the light, Callaway said. "Because this film is coming from a Christian perspective … you worry about the comedy getting neutered. ... Christians still need it to be funny and not trite.”

That tension between faith and funny may not be an impossible hurdle for the film, according to Craig Detweiler, a filmmaker and communications professor at Pepperdine University who has worked with studios on direct marketing to churches.

"I think it will surprise people who tend to associate Christianity with roots in tragedy instead of comedy," he said. "But Jesus was known for his parables that ended in punch lines. He was pretty good with zingers.”

Jesus was fond of calling the Pharisees a “brood of vipers,” plus his style as a traveling preacher was to teach in stories, or parables, that needed to stick in the minds of his audience.

“These films are succeeding because it’s a huge, underserved market just looking for what the title says, a mom’s night out. Kind of a light, bright, inspiring picture. If you can offer that to this audience I think they’ll respond,” Detweiler said.  “It’s brilliant to actually try to appeal to mothers. It’s so rare to have mom as the hero.”

Making Moms work

Unlike other independent films in which big names are ridden into the ground like a sweaty mule, shoehorned into every possible scene in the movie, "Moms’ Night Out” has an ensemble cast - an amazing feat for a film with a budget just under $5 million, according to Andrew and John Erwin, the brothers who directed the film.

"We wanted a very strong ensemble," Jon Erwin said. "The cast, I can't believe we got them for what we had," his brother Andrew said.

Heaton, Astin and country music super star Trace Atkins blend in seamlessly with other less familiar actors.

"When you show something to someone they didn’t know existed - the family-friendly clean comedy - the talent just flocked. It was a matter of getting them to read it and they were in,” Peluso said. "Everyone felt comfortable with what this picture was and the resources available.”

White plays a supporting role in the film as one of the hip young moms in the trio out for the night. As a Christian and mom of three who attends a non-denominational church in West Lake, California, White said the movie hit home for her.

"Nobody tells you how hard it is to be a mom and wife. Nobody tells you how hard it is. Especially as a Christian, you’re supposed to act like you have it all together,” she said. “There’s so many of us that want to raise our kids in the way of the Lord and feel like we put ourselves last.”

Sarah Drew and Sean Astin together in the Christian comedy "Moms' Night Out."

White said their goal with the film was “to encourage women and encourage families and bring them to a closer relationship to God and to be able to feel supported.”

“There’s definitely an audience. There’s so many people in this country that want to see a clean comedy,” she said.

Astin, who plays a husband and father in the film, said working on the project made him examine his own life. "Truth is that everyone has feelings of self-doubt (and) anxiety. To have a movie like this to spend time with is, I think, really refreshing for a lot of moviegoers."

 Selling the movie

Even feel-good movies have to make money in Hollywood.

AFFIRM said this film has all the makings to be a hit, based on a business model they have honed over the past decade with movies targeted to Christians and early screenings of this film.

“We’re very confident, based on the fact we’ve screened it for 10,000 people," Peluso said.

Advanced ticket sales for the film were strong leading into the weekend.

Peluso added in some cases, those 1,000 screens where the film will run this weekend were picked based on how other faith-centered movies like “Soul Surfer” had performed.“We spent a lot of time down to the local, granular level, screen by screen.” They have also heavily marketed the film to moms groups and churches.

Despite bad press reviews, the movie has screened incredibly well with that vast, untapped audience Peluso believes the film can reach.

"The only review I care about is the people who were standing in line 90 minutes before with a $10 bill in their hand,” Peluso said.

Astin, whose career includes roles in iconic films from “The Goonies” to “Lord of Rings,” said this film is the one people will appreciate most.

"I promise you this, this movie will live for years in the hearts and minds of the community it's aimed at," Astin said. "People will come up to me for years, a million times, everywhere I go, and tell me, 'I’ve been waiting for this kind of movie forever. Thank you for making it.'"

CNN's Daniel Burke and Topher Gauk-Roger contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Faith • Media • Money & Faith • United States

soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. Tony

    To all those moms whose womb was a safe haven for the unborn, who nurtured the unborn and raised them with loving care, we salute you! Happy Mother's Day! You are very special indeed!

    May 11, 2014 at 7:52 am |
    • realbuckyball

      And to all the women who made the personally agonizing decision to either delay a pregnancy, or to stop one that had the POTENTIAL from producing a baby that could not be properly cared for, whether the POTENTIAL form was a clump of cells with NO NEURAL TUBE, (ie not a "baby" but a POTENTIAL baby ... just as much as a sperm cell or oocyte is a POTENTIAL human) we salute you also.

      May 11, 2014 at 10:00 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        To the fathers that take on the job of being Mom; to the ladies who open their homes and hearts to those children who might not otherwise find a home.

        May 11, 2014 at 10:12 am |
  2. Vic

    Happy Mother's Day

    May 11, 2014 at 7:33 am |
    • realbuckyball

      No Babble quote to go with that ?

      May 11, 2014 at 10:01 am |
  3. bucketobits

    And now we watch Christian-bashing begin. The behavior of CNN commenters is nothing, if not predictable.

    May 11, 2014 at 6:26 am |
    • whippstippler7

      No, no, no. We love Christians. We just hate the Christian lifestyle and the Christian agenda. We hate Christianity, but we love Christians.

      May 11, 2014 at 6:46 am |
      • saggyroy

        That's right! Love the believer, but hate the belief.

        May 11, 2014 at 8:03 am |
      • mattd44

        Christian lifestyle? Like a secure, stable home? Solid decision making? Not every Christian home achieves that, but that's the goal. And how about the alternative?

        May 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Matt...wait...solid decision making....like choosing to believe the earth is only 6000 years old despite overwhelming scientific evidence? Or basing your life from the ramblings if a 2000 year old book written by Bronze Age men?

          May 12, 2014 at 8:19 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Bucket...Simple question....then why do you come here? By the way...it is quite easy to bash a religion that believes the earth is only 6000 years old, hates h-omos-exuals even though god made them the way they are, believes a 600 year old man made a wooden boat and floated around with 2 of every creature on the planet for over a year, supports a 2000 year old book that believed in slavery, etc, etc, etc....

      May 11, 2014 at 8:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The only time a person gets bashed for being Christian is when they use their belief to justify hate; bigotry; denial of women's rights; and when they try to impose it on the public....otherwise have your silly outdated belief if that is what it takes to make you feel secure.

      May 11, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  4. Garet

    Cool; haven't seen a quality family comedy in a long time – this is looks like something we can get all the cousins together for =]

    I guess you'd have to expect reviews to go sour, but imho this movie does look like a good deal more thought went into it than, for instance, something cheesy like Daddy Daycare. I probably wont enjoy it as much as my sisters would, who I'm sure would be laughing it up seeing their daily drama built up. idk, I just get the image that the feel of the movie matches a lot of their internal dialogue lol.

    +1 , it really is nice to see the demographic being represented. not exactly my taste but I think i might enjoy it some as well just for the lack of raunchy punch-lines and being able to watch it with family.

    May 11, 2014 at 4:13 am |
    • tallulah131

      The reviews for this movie have not been that good, not because of the religious content but because it's just not funny. It's sad that they didn't really seem to make an effort. To me it seems more like crass manipulation because they will get certain viewers simply by saying that its a christian movie no matter the actual quality. Honestly, I think you guys should hold out for something better.

      May 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
  5. realbuckyball

    The real question is "Can Christians make a movie that's not hilarious".

    May 11, 2014 at 12:58 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Well maybe not intentionally...

      "Cheap-looking, unfunny, and kind of se/xist to boot, Moms' Night Out is a disappointment from start to finish."

      Rotten Tomatoes 17%

      May 11, 2014 at 1:53 am |
      • tallulah131

        The reviews are less than stellar. I think this movie is an insult to it's chosen audience. The filmmakers seem to think that their christian audience incapable of any sophistication or true wit, and instead will be satisfied with dated, cardboard cliche. I would be offended if I were a christian.

        .

        May 11, 2014 at 3:31 am |
        • bucketobits

          Thank you for your offense on our behalf, I guess.

          May 11, 2014 at 6:21 am |
  6. flightfromfrostmtn

    Hollywood is scrambling hard for ideas, let alone new or good ideas. The "surprise sleeper hit" God is not Dead was hilariously bad:)

    So yes, Christians can make funny movies.

    May 11, 2014 at 12:30 am |
  7. Reality

    The hilarity of Christianity: a few starting points,

    An illiterate, trouble- making magic man from Nazareth is summarily crucified, descends into hell or was it limbo, rises again in three days, travels about the country side for forty days visiting old friends and then ascends to some Disney-like wonder-world called heaven. And god created Frebrez to make it so.

    A few centuries later he brings along his mother after she lay a-mouldering in the grave for all those centuries. Poor Joseph still gets no respect but Frebrez gets another marketing boost.

    Then there is all that funny, consuming magic of taking cheap wine and stale bread and turning them into blood and flesh. Yummy in hilarity indeed!!! Maybe YUM Brands should buy the licensing rights?

    Of course, Christianity is not alone in the world of humor. The Taoists believe that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man.

    And then there was Buddha who was walking, talking, teaching and preaching when he exited the womb.

    SNL really needs to pick up on the hilarious aspects of all religions.

    May 11, 2014 at 12:21 am |
  8. justpro86

    I do not waste my time arguing with children as to wether the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or elves actually exist. So why then do atheists go out of their way to argue that something they do not believe in doesn't exist? Are atheists trying to save us from Hell? I submit that atheists feel very threatened by the existence of God and that is why they are so militantly hostile against something they "believe" doesn't exist, because in reality they do believe! Saton believes and he trembles! Keep trembling atheists because Judgment Day is real , it's coming and it will happen!

    May 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
    • observer

      justpro86

      I'm not an atheist, but your foolish statement should have a response. "I submit that atheists feel very threatened by the existence of God" is as ridiculous as you feeling threatened that the Easter Bunny might miss you.

      May 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
      • justpro86

        I am not threatened by the easter bunny and by the way you trash christian believers on a christian post pretty much speaks too me that you are an atheist.

        May 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • observer

          justpro86,

          I am an agnostic. I don't trash all Christians, just those HYPOCRITES who use the Bible as an EXCUSE to trash gays, non-believers, pro-choice supporters, etc.

          May 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • justpro86

          Well there you and I can agree... I agree nobody should trash peoples life styles so I give you a nod on that... On other things just making a comment and I see others whom are atheists come on here and even if its just a comment about the article they go out of their way trashing others beliefs and what not that I don't agree with...

          May 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • observer

          justpro86,

          I am open-minded. If someone can prove that God exists or prove he doesn't exist, I will accept the proof. The real problem is that few people seem to realize that BOTH atheists AND believers could be wrong. Maybe everything was set up by a committee of zombies (for instance) or maybe there is a "God", but one who is more like Jesus in the Bible and far more caring and intelligent than the God portrayed in the Bible.

          May 10, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
      • mattd44

        Nope, you're not an atheist. Just gay.

        May 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • tallulah131

      And exactly what does your comment have to do with the topic of the story, Justin?

      May 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
    • bostontola

      You don't see a difference between a child believing in the Tooth Fairy and an adult believing in the Tooth Fairy?

      Children don't head up school boards and try to put Creationism into science classes and text books. Children don't pass laws restricting the rights of minorities.

      Adults that believe in the Tooth Fairy do.

      May 11, 2014 at 12:09 am |
      • justpro86

        Seems like you are having difficulties with truth and fiction... Sorry God is not the tooth fairy nor is he a myth

        May 11, 2014 at 12:19 am |
        • bostontola

          Typical evasion. You compared children's beliefs in things their parents told them to adults. It's a silly comparison. You also avoided the reason why atheists push back on adult beliefs in God. Because many of them influence Gov't to infringe on minorities rights. Typical evasion when you can't answer.

          May 11, 2014 at 12:47 am |
    • Doris

      justpro: "...Saton..."

      I think you're confused. I think you're talking about that guy in Lord of the Rings. And it was Sauron, not Saton.

      May 11, 2014 at 12:29 am |
      • justpro86

        Spelling error I am only human

        May 11, 2014 at 12:34 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      JustP.....Because believers in the Tooth Fairy have never tried to pass legislation making me listen to a Tooth Fairy prayer at the beginning of govt held meetings! Is that simple enough for you? And....judgement day might be coming for you, but it is not for me.

      May 11, 2014 at 7:06 am |
    • sam stone

      judgement day is a hoax, designed to keep the gullible in line

      May 11, 2014 at 7:52 am |
  9. tallulah131

    I know some insanely funny christians. Sadly, none of them are making movies.

    May 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Jim Gaffigan comes to mind.

      May 11, 2014 at 8:11 am |
  10. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Can Christians make funny movies?

    Let's reinterpret this to mean, can you make commercially successful comedies that don't involve scatological language, casual sex, drugs, overindulgence in alcohol (really drugs), or naked Asian men jumping out of the trunks of cars and get a "PG" rating *and* be really funny.

    If the material is of high enough quality – sure. Why not.

    But the writing and the acting has to be *really* good.

    May 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Reviews are pretty mixed for "Mom's night out"

      Random selections include:
      Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com gave it 1.5 stars.
      Rotten Tomatoes gave it 17%
      Marc Snetiker of EW gave it 4/12
      imdb users were more generous with 7/10, but that might be confirmation bias from people who chose to see it.

      May 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
  11. ddeevviinn

    Actually, I am a film director/producer. I currently am working on a production in which the plot revolves around the death of atheists. It culminates with the main characters waking up immediatiately after death and finding themselves in the coming new dimension, in the presence of their creator.

    I've t itled the film " OH S H * T" It's gonna be a hoot.

    May 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      deev....I could make a movie showing Christians upon dying saying "Well...looks like I wasted my life", but of course, since there is little to no chance that they will experience anything upon death, they won't be able to see, feel, hear, or think anything.

      But....I will say, that if there really is a god, it will be quite easy for me to explain myself. I would simple say....."god...why did you make it so ambiguous to believe in you? Why did you only appear in makeup mirrors to a select few people and not all? Why did you make personal appearances to Moses, Abraham, Noah, and a host of others many years ago, but haven't made a personal appearance since then....halftime at the Super Bowl would have been nice. Why did you make diseases and other incredibly noxious evils in this world? Why did you let Satan put fossils in the ground so that it would be so easy to prove evolution? Why did you choose to let children be so horrendously abused by their parents? Why did you let Hitler kill so many people before the Allies were able to stop him? Why did you make broccoli, which is good for you, taste like broccoli and not chocolate, which is bad for you?

      I could go on and on and on and on....but do I really need to?

      May 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Actually it was meant to be humerous, nothing more.

        May 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          humorous

          Let a little anatomy physiology slip in there.

          May 11, 2014 at 1:16 am |
        • tallulah131

          now that was funny.

          May 11, 2014 at 1:34 am |
    • bostontola

      devin,
      That is a good choice. Anything can be true in a movie, Godzilla is coming out soon.

      May 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
      • G to the T

        All hail Gojira! Your true lizardly lord and master!

        May 11, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • tallulah131

      So you're making a fantasy, Dev?

      May 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Just thought I'd share a little high brow humor with you uptight non-godders.

        May 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Just kidding right back, dev.

          May 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          oh yeah....me too. Dev....you are just a little too uptight.....

          May 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          tal

          Yes, I know.

          May 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sounds like atheists would have a lot of company with a bunch of theists who happened to get it wrong...or does believing in any creator get you by in your story....?

      Maybe a one word ti.tile?

      ...."Gullible"

      May 11, 2014 at 2:15 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        No, not "any creator" , the ONLY creator. So yes, you are right, they will have a lot of "company".

        I will portray this group in the sequel, I'm certain it will be a blockbuster also.

        May 11, 2014 at 3:46 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Well then it should be called "The Guessing Game".....with the tagline ..."you better be right".

          May 11, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          I was thinking: " I TOLD YA SO"

          May 11, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • sam stone

      Yep, the christian fantasy of atheists (and other unrepentant "sinners") suffering at the hands of their pr1ck god.

      May 11, 2014 at 9:14 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        I see you have no concept of, or appreciation for, parody.

        Absolutely fascinating how an individual who, with great frequency, encourages others to " swallow a 12 gauge " or otherwise end their life, all of a sudden fancies himself a humanitarian. In all seriousness Sam, seek help.

        May 11, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • sam stone

          Back atcha, ddeevviinn

          May 11, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  12. Derek

    Nice article and nicely written! Looks like this movie is a must watch, a Mother's Day movie without the usual melodrama and with some humor. Who wants to go to a theater to tear up anyways?

    May 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  13. Alias

    They could, but they generally have too narrow of a world view to be able to laugh at themselves.

    May 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • bucketobits

      If you think that, you may be hanging around the wrong Christians. My Christian friends have a broad worldview and no problems laughing at themselves.

      May 11, 2014 at 6:24 am |
  14. bostontola

    I thought "This Is The End" was funny.

    May 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  15. Reality

    The beliefs of Christians are indeed hilarious. No movie needed to emphasize the point.

    May 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Spoiler alert for Jesus movies: He dies in the end.

      May 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
      • jhg45

        Not really.

        May 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          So there was no sacrifice.

          May 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          bostontola....not really.

          May 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          Exactly.

          May 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
  16. bostontola

    The most absurd thing I have ever seen on this blog:

    thefinisher1
    I have a PhD in psychology. Fail troll. Fail.

    May 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm |

    May 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      thefinisher1 has been trolling on this blog under various names for a couple of years. Maybe longer. I remember a long time ago when he was the 666 guy.

      May 10, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      Awwwww! Someone is jealous! While you spend your life hating religion, I achieved something. Really says something about your pathetic life.

      May 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
      • bostontola

        It is more likely that the Tooth Fairy is real than you have an undergraduate college degree. It's very sad that you would make such a claim, it shows deep self doubt. I hope you get help.

        May 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Yep. You're jealous. Maybe you should stop obsessing over your hatred towards religion and actually do something. Oh wait! Your atheism has BECOME your religion! My bad.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Finisher....I'll try my question again. What turned you to your belief in god. You say you studied other religions....did this particular one you are in now just come to you or did you have a personal experience with your god?

          May 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Please get help, it is available even if you don't have a lot of money.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Jealously isn't a good thing to have, bost old boy.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Very sad.

          If you had an undergraduate degree in Psychology (never mind. PhD) you would know that I would be ENVIOUS, not jealous in this situation.

          You are a sad person. Please get help.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Nope. You're jealous. You are sad that you've done nothing with your life and handle it by obsessing over religion and mocking for disagreeing with your atheism. It's ok. There's professionals out there that can help you get over your hate and obsession towards religion.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Well....I'm guessing that you are more interested in playing 'I'm rubber, you're glue' than answering my question, which was again, did you have a personal experience with your god or did you just come to it by reading the bible?

          May 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Easy way to remember Envy is the emotion when you want a possession someone else has. Jealousy is the emotion when you fear you may be replaced in the affection of someone you love or desire.

          ANY psychologist would know that. You are a very sad person. I don't know if you are intentionally lying or are that deluded that you actually believe it.

          Please get help.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          As a trained professional, you're still wrong, kiddo. Seek help.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          The evidence, provided by you, demonstrates you are not trained, professional, or educated.

          It's never too late to get help. Given your inability to process objective evidence, you would make an ideal candidate for Christianity. Please contact a priest, most have training in dealing with your problems. They will probably teach you:

          "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28)

          May 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Even when faced with the truth, your brain is like a pea. Small and dumb!

          May 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Daniel....I know you are monitoring these comments, as I see your name when there are particularly bad posters here. Would you please consider banning 'thefinisher1'? He lends absolutely no intelligent comments to the conversation and continually wastes time with nonsensical and hate filled ramblings. While you are at it, you can also check the postings of salero21. Both of these posters seem to have nothing intelligible to say. Thanks for your consideration.

          May 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          finisher,
          I don't know what beliefs you have (other than anti-atheist), but I wish you were a Christian. I mean a real Christian that loves their neighbors. Your heart is so filled with hate, happiness is out of reach.

          Please get help.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Filled with hate? Fighting against your dangerous atheism doesn't mean I hate atheists. I think you need professional help to you face your delusion.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          finisher,
          Like I said, please try Christianity, I think it might be a good fit for you.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Practice what you preach, kiddo!

          May 10, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • Doris

          "Atheists tend to think your reasons for leaving is why everyone believes."

          Does anyone else know what the idiot meant by the statement above (from the thread just below)?

          May 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          finisher,
          A Psychologist would know that religion is not one size fits all. You are an ideal candidate for Christianity. Please seek them out, they may be able to help you. It couldn't hurt, right?

          May 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'd have hoped people with Doctorates in Psychology were a lot more coherent, articulate, and above all, understanding than our friend "thefinisher1".

      If this assertion is true, I weep for his/her patients.

      Of course being a psychologist can be a heavy burden. It's hard not to take your work home with you and that can take a toll.

      May 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Vic

    I believe a more proper question would be "can you make funny Christian movies?" since the majority of the population is Christian, the same majority that makes the ratings for all the movies in general. After all, Christians are everyday people, hence everyday celebrities, hence Patricia Heaton—Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle— and Trace Adkins—Country Music, The Celebrity Apprentice, etc.

    I guess "Moms' Night Out" is a Mother's Day gift.

    May 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      You're right Vic, this is one of the dumbest articles in a long time.

      May 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • Eric MarrapodiCNN

      That's a good headline Vic. I just might change it.

      May 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • Vic

        Thank you, sir.

        May 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I believe it all depends on whether you mean a flat out comedy versus a film that contains humorous moments. If it's the latter, there are many that qualify.

      May 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Can Christians make funny movies?"

      Versus

      "can you make funny Christian movies?"

      I guess it depends on whether you subscribe to the Mel Gibson view about *who* makes the movies. (In this case I'm talking about the producers and studio bosses.)

      I'd argue that it might not actually be representatives of the Christian majority in the United States that green lights and approves movies, but Vic, I agree with your sentiment.

      May 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
  18. thefinisher1

    Atheist fundamentalism is a disease that destroys societies and divides people. Fundies of atheism need to be put in their place. Your atheism is a lie. Get over it.

    May 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Finisher....I have a legitimate question to ask you. How did you get your faith in your god? Did you always have it or was it something recent?

      May 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        To answer your question, I discovered it on my own. Atheists tend to think your reasons for leaving is why everyone believes. No pressure from anyone, no conformity. No nothing. It was totally my choice. No "forcing" involved from anybody as you atheists thinks happens to everyone.

        May 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Finisher...that is not what I, or any other atheist thinks at all. If you discovered it on your own, how did that occur? When you answer this time, please try to leave out any references to atheists, that is not what I am asking. I just want to know how you came about your discovery.

          May 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Doris

          "Atheists tend to think your reasons for leaving is why everyone believes."

          Well at least you tried to answer the question. Although, I doubt anyone really understands what you meant with such a response. lol.

          May 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          It means no parent, friend, or society made me believe. I studied religion during my high school years when I had free time. I found Native American religions and Buddhism to be most interesting although some Pagan religions are interesting to learn.

          May 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "I studied religion during my high school years when I had free time."

          So basically you had no friends and the Christian group at your school offered you what you were looking for. No worries, many kids stumble in to religion like that. There is a cure for the virus you're suffering from here, it is called an education-please look in to getting one.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          LOL! You make a great story teller "Truth". You should change your name to "liar" because what you said didn't happen. Fail. You know what they say when you A$$ume.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How exactly is it lying? It is very typical of kids with no friends to be brought in my the Christian kids and made to feel welcome. You do need to purchase a dictionary and study it.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Didn't happen to me so...looks like you lied. Can your weak little brain understand what "free time" means? I guess it can't.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • Doris

      @thebrokenrecord1

      your butthurtism is showing

      May 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Oh Doris, you show the classic signs of being butt hurt.

        May 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Alias

          As a trained professional, i assume you mean the clinical definition of butthurt,.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
  19. saggyroy

    Sure Christians can be funny – people think 2-1/2 Men is funny so why not. Comedy does not have to be raunchy. I prefer cerebral comedy.

    May 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Mom's Night Out doesn't sound very cerebral.....you may be in for a disappointment.

      May 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • saggyroy

        Didn't say I was going to see it. Just meant everyone's taste is different. I bet if it gets panned by critics, it will be because they are haters. BTW I am also a Stooges fan, but mainly like my comedy on the dry side.

        May 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I prefer dry humor myself....Tend to gravitate towards British humor, but I also like Two and a Half Men as well.

          May 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • James XCIX

          The Simpsons – funniest TV show ever (early years, anyway).

          May 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          James....actually....still hilarious! I would be sad to see it go....

          May 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Haven't watched it in a while, glad they haven't run out of ideas. Just curious, how did you manage to reply directly to me and not to saggyroy, whose post was the last in the thread with a "reply" choice?

          May 11, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          I used my mobile app. It lets you reply directly to a person.

          May 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  20. colin31714

    If you have ever watched any of the garbage on You Tube that creationists post, the answer is yes, Christians can make funny movies.

    May 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Anything with Kirk Cameron, really.

      May 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      I thought Noah was pretty funny....I mean, the idea of a 600 year old man building a wooden boat and boarding 2 of every creature on the planet with only 8 zookeepers! Hilarious!!

      May 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Coming soon to a cinema near you,

      "Monkey see, Monkey do"

      Starring Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and Ken Ham, it's the Christian romp of the decade.

      You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll though excrement at the screen.

      May 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.