I saw this film for Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year.

One advantage of me being Australian (aside from the whole walking upside down thing, which gets old fast) is that I have an outsider’s view on American entertainment. For example, I don’t know who Kirk Cameron is. A sitcom actor, or something. When Saving Christmas came out and was hammered by critics, many reviews took the line of “haw haw! It’s Mike Seaver from Growing Pains!” I didn’t care about that stuff. I judged the film on its own demerits.

It’s not good. It’s terrible. Silver linings, though: we’re still celebrating Christmas in 2022, which means Kirk’s crusade to save the holiday was a success. I wonder how he did it?

Don’t be fooled by the action-packed cover: Saving Christmas is a vlog of Kirk Cameron sitting in front of a camera, gesturing with his simian hands, his ghastly chimp-like visage twisted into an expression of rancid condescension as he explains the meaning of Christmas to all of you dumb idiots. I have never felt so utterly patronized by a stupid person. He has the energy of an uncle explaining that airplanes fly by flapping their wings.

He knows how to save a buck, I’ll give him that. The movie has two sets: some dude’s house, and some dude’s car. Occasionally he spices things up with “B-footage” that looks like it came from a stock footage site. This film cost literally dozens of dollars to make and I hope it earned back every penny.

Is this even a movie? In 2017 it barely passed muster. In 2022 it more resembles a high-effort Youtube video by someone called “The Libtard Crusher” whose avatar is Trump throwing Fauci out of a helicopter. All it lacks is a crudely animated furry character who looks smug when he makes a point…well, it has Kirk Cameron, now that I think of it.

So what dubious message does Craptain Kirk have for us?

It’s not “Christmas is overcommercialized!” Kirk is all for commercialization. “Don’t buy into the complaint about materialism during Christmas. Sure, don’t max out your credit cards or use presents to buy friends, but remember, this is a celebration of the eternal God taking on a MATERIAL body. So, it’s right that our holiday is marked with material things.”

He argues – unconvincingly – that “secular” traditions (Christmas trees, nutcrackers, Santa Claus) are Biblically-based. Nutcrackers? They’re soldiers, and Herod had soldiers. Christmas trees? Jesus was crucified on a cross made of wood, which comes from trees. Baubles? They represent the fruit in the Garden of Eden. And so forth.

It’s a simple formula. Is $THING part of Christmas? Just Ctrl-F search for $THING in the Bible, and there you go. Anything you like can be a Biblically-approved Christmas tradition. “Like a computer wrote it” is a common criticism lobbed at movies that are formulaic or uninspired. Saving Christmas goes further: it’s the world’s first movie that could have been written by a one-line Bash script.

Winter? Well, God created the winter solstice.  When he’s in a pinch, Cameron falls back to the “God made it” argument, which kind of makes the rest of the film unnecessary, because then everything is part of Christmas.

This distresses me, because my family had a disgusting proctopaedophiliac Christmas tradition called “oobleklaart”. It’s a heinous sex act, banned in 31 countries and counting, involving a monkey, an unripe rambutan, a power drill, and…ugh…just thinking about it makes me shudder. Those poor gerbils…

Anyway, if Kirk is correct, then oobleklaart is authentically part of Christmas, because the 27 separate items and ingredients necessary to perform it (we’ll ignore the plutonium-239, which is man-made) all come from God. Is this true? Is oobleklaart Christmas? Say it isn’t so, Kirk.

In general, I’m not on board with attempts to make Christianity hip and happening.

First, none of these people would recognize “hip” if theirs was smashed by a sledgehammer. At the end there’s a rapped version of “Angels We Have Heard On High”, which is a risky move for a group of actors who have never heard a rap CD that didn’t have “CLEAN VERSION” on it. When they dance, they flail like electrified corpses.

Christianity should transcend cool. The Bible has a certain dignity to it. It’s not a trite or silly book. Trying to tie it up with a bunch of toys doesn’t even reach the level of sacrilige. It speaks to a cultish obsession with dopamine that’s as secular as it gets. “Don’t ask questions! Just consume product and then get excited for next product!” Christmas may survive commercialism. It might not survive Kirk Cameron.