By Michael Foust
Correspondent, The Alabama Baptist
The number of faith-based comedy films that are truly funny can be counted on one hand.
There’s “Mom’s Night Out.” And “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.” And “Christian Mingle.” And … well … that’s about it.
Unless you toss in stand-up comedy DVDs — which I didn’t for this list — there simply aren’t that many faith-based comedy movies period. Comedy is difficult. And when you mix faith into the plot, it becomes even harder to hit the bullseye.
But this unique genre has a new entry, and it’s as good as any of the others on the list.
Titled “Selfie Dad,” it tells the story of a husband and father named Ben who gets fired from his job as a television program editor and then tries to make a living by posting funny handyman videos online. His how-to videos always go horribly wrong — and they quickly go viral too.
The plot turns when he gets serious about his Christian faith and mentions the Bible in a video, leading to a plunge in his subscriber base (and in his income).
The film stars Michael Jr. in the lead role and Chonda Pierce as the outspoken star of the reality show he edits. Both are hilarious.
Thankfully, “Selfie Dad” also includes plenty of positive messages about family (Ben learns to be a better father), prayer (Ben’s wife prays for him often) and breaking the cycle of sin (Ben’s father was a womanizer — a trait Ben wants to work to avoid).
“Selfie Dad” contains no violence or language but does contain a few suggestive elements. (A woman at a party makes a joke about taking her clothes off; later, she texts him but he tells her never to contact him again). It’s rated Rated PG.
“Selfie Dad” originally was scheduled to debut in theaters. Because of the coronavirus outbreaks, it debuted June 19 on video on demand.
- “Jesus in Athens” (Prime) — The European migrant crisis led to roughly 1 million individuals fleeing oppression, slavery and poverty, often through Greece. It also led to countless migrants, including former Muslims, finding Christ. This powerful documentary tells that story. Because of mature subject matter, “Jesus in Athens” is probably best for older children. It entered the Prime lineup in recent weeks.
- “Spy Kids” and “Spy Kids 3-D” (Hulu) — These 2001 and 2003 live-action children’s films are a cross between a PBS cartoon and a James Bond film. Superhero-like detectives fight the bad guys and save the world. Rated PG for action. (The first film has a couple of OMGs and a “shiitake mushroom” said way too slowly.) Available June 30.
- “American Gospel: Christ Alone” (Netflix) — It’s a documentary critique of the prosperity gospel featuring interviews with its critics, including Paul Washer, Marshall Brandon, Michael Durham, Julius Kim, Matt Chandler, Jackie Hill-Perry and Bryan Chapell. Rated TV-PG. It entered the Netflix lineup in recent weeks.
- “Where’s Waldo?”: Complete Season 1 (Hulu) — This animated reboot of the 1990s cartoon features the same problem-solving and educational background from the original. Season 1 takes children to locations such as Costa Rica, Scotland, Australia and Greece. Rated TV-Y.