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  • First of all, let me say that if you're one of those who find themselves offended because films show certain things or because they make fun of aspects of LDS people, you should realize that this film actually seriously makes fun of people who are offended by that kind of thing (God's Army specifically), and when they show those characters and you laugh, you're laughing at yourself. Having said this, I think Singles Ward was funny and cute, not on the same level as God's Army or Brigham City, but much better than The Other Side of Heaven. It's light-hearted and you have to watch it with a sense of humor or it probably will bother you. I AM a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I know, we are pretty unusual in a great many ways, but this film shows some of these in a light-hearted manner, but remains entertaining. Maybe it was made for Mormons primarily, but anyone with a sense of humour can enjoy it. To those LDS who are offended by this film, I say LIGHTEN UP! We should find the good in all things.
  • Before I write this review out, let me start by saying, yes, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I served a two year mission in Santiago, Chile. I used to have season tickets to BYU football. I go to church every single Sunday.

    You should also know that I never attended BYU, I don't listen to "Christian Rock" (except Stryper) and I am probably the only person in the state of Utah that hasn't seen "God's Army" or other "Mormon-based" movies.

    When my sister-in-law told me to go see "Singles Ward", I blew it off because I really had no desire to watch a movie that would be just a lot of inside Mormon jokes. She persisted, even offered to watch the kids and pay for the movie, so my wife & I went to the movie. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Yes, most of the jokes are too inside for someone who does not attend our church, but I think even non-Mormon/non-Utahns will get a kick out of this movie. I mean, comedy is comedy. Even though I'm not Catholic, the song "The Vatican Rag" by Tom Lehrer is funny.

    To be totally honest, the soundtrack was actually the coolest part of the movie. Finally, church songs the way they should have been written.

    Like I said, I'm not a big fan of "Mormon" movies, but I really enjoyed this movie. It was funny, it was touching, and when you left you felt like your money (or your sister-in-law's money) wasn't wasted.
  • This is certainly not a great film, but it's a lot of fun if you are LDS, like myself, have been in a singles ward, and get the many LDS culture jokes. Also, playing Spot-the-LDS-Celebrity adds to the film's appeal. But Singles Ward will just confuse and perhaps irritate non-members. So far only Richard Dutcher (who has a funny cameo in this film) has managed to go beyond the Mormon genre and appeal to non-members and audiences outside Utah/Idaho/Nevada,... with God's Army and especially Brigham City.
  • guamfiji1127 October 2006
    8/10
    8/10
    I must say. This movie was pretty funny. I, too am a member of the LDS church.

    It pokes fun at Mormon's and I see no reason to take offence to it. I also do not think that they portray non-Mormons as drunken idiots. Sure some were drinking but most of the non-Mormons WERE in a club after all, right?

    I especially thought when the main character was going bad was the funniest scenes of all. I would give this movie to any Mormon, as long as they can take a joke. To all non-Mormon's who watch it, you'll find some particularly funny parts, i believe, and it's all just a joke. It's not meant to be offensive or anything of the sort.
  • Lots of the jokes may not be understood by those not familiar with LDS (Mormon) beliefs. Even for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some stuff was just not very funny. Jumping from serious to humorous was sometimes a big leap. DON'T MISS THE BLOOPERS AT THE END!
  • I'm not a seventh generation Mormon (at least I don't think we go back that far, not on Grandpa's side anyway), I've not lived in Utah my whole life (first military then work, we skipped and jumped from state to state) but I still got all the jokes and found it very amusing. I liked it.

    Yes, it's a little clicky with all the in-jokes, and yes, it may not appeal to non-members. But I go to movies all the time (and I've seen my fair share of movies) where in-jokes of a certain religion, local and society type are made that I just don't get. Does that mean the movie shouldn't have been made or was a waist of time to the rest of the world and myself? Not at all. I can still enjoy it and maybe someone can explain the joke to me so I can laugh as well.

    Seems like a great opportunity to share our personal experiences and promote understanding in a society where you look at someone wrong and next week a building is blown up as a result.

    And frankly, I'm just glad that I can expand my movie collection to include movies that don't have to be cartoons to be free from gratuitous sex, violence, nudity, profanity . . . the list goes on and on.

    And as far as being offended goes, I'm probably the easiest offended person I know. My family certainly thinks so. I know so. And I'm trying to change that by learning to laugh at myself.

    Someone once said, "A person who can learn to laugh at oneself will never cease to be amused." Better to laugh yourself into tears than let sorrow and emotional injuries force us into it.

    And in my attempt to correct what I see as a shortcoming in myself I'm constantly reminding myself that if I'm offended, maybe I should be. Was what was done an attack on me (intentional or otherwise) or was it another persons way of expressing their own feelings about something?

    Long story short, I loved the movie. Just because we don't understand it doesn't mean we can learn to and then like it. And if I ever decide I don't like it anymore, well, I don't have to watch it, do I?

    Thank you.

    *steps down off soap-box*
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I stumbled across "The Singles Ward" while I was channel hopping. It was being shown on a movies channel that shows mostly made for US TV flicks (I'm based in the UK). I thought, oh my, a movie about church goers! I've got to stick with this! I'm glad I did. I enjoyed "The Singles Ward" tremendously and found it very funny. People who know me might find this a bit strange since I'm Jewish, married, in my 40s, and I've never been to Utah. The film brought back memories of my college days. I minored in religion and spent a lot of time socialising along a street near our university that held churches of various dominations and the Hillel center. I went to dozens of pot luck suppers and sundae socials, getting to know the different congregations. I was also embarrassed by wanna be Travoltas giving me their best moves during interfaith dances. A lot of the film rang true for me. Many of the girls in the singles ward were exactly like my friends: sweet girls who lived together and hosted Bible studies. I knew plenty of guys like Jonathan's roommates. I loved the roommate with the piercings and the liking for car bungee jumping and the scene with the balloons. They reminded me of several of my friends who lived in the dorms and experimented with melting records by using lit cans of deodorant for a blow torch. Jonathan's soul searching after he left the girl's apartment evoked my spiritual feelings. I could identify with the pressure on Jonathan and his friends to get married and start raising families- I had a lot of pressure on me at the time to find a boy from a "nice" family (one religious but not too religious), join a synagogue, start popping out babies and get them involved in temple classes and activities straight away. Did Brigham Young really say: "If you're 25 years old and unmarried, you're a menace to society"? It sounds exactly like my mother's comments when I was in my 20s. It's good to see a movie that's positive about the search for spirituality and meaning, has a sense of humor, and doesn't shove The Right Way down the viewer's throat. I smiled when the roommates said of Jonathan's self examination, "Who are you talking to?" and "You sound like a seminary film". "The Singles Ward" isn't just for Mormon audiences. People of different backgrounds can enjoy it too. I wish it didn't end with snapshots of all the characters getting paired up- I wish it offered them more choices than the officially recommended marriage and the baby carriage. On the other hand, numerous Hollywood movies have the same kind of ending: pictures of partners for everyone (even the most obnoxious) thanks to the magic of romance and dating services.
  • abrafocus23 March 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    When I first saw the beginning, and Jonathan (Will Swenson) talked to the camera, I thought, Oh good grief, here comes another Ferris Bueller.

    But it wasn't anything like Ferris. After his wife dumps him, Jon is back in the Single's Ward. He meets Cammie Giles, the Ward Activies chairperson, and at first, they don't like each other. But as they get to know each other, they spend more time going places, like meetings, activities, and the like.

    Danny Ainge even makes an appearance as a teacher. His words are really funny. He talks to his students, as if they were basketball players, and the audience doesn't know who he's talking to. Then we see: a bunch of 4 year-old's, staring at him, apparently not understanding a word he said.

    Several other well-known LDS people make appearances, like Steve Young and Shawn Bradley.

    This is one of the best LDS movies ever. Even if you're not Mormon, you'll enjoy it.

    My Score: 7/10.
  • As thus far the only non Mormon to comment on this movie (we saw it on cinemanow.com), this was delightful, humorous, moving, placing it above the B movie level (perhaps), though it's weakness I feel is that it bowed too much to conformity, as in reality one doubts whether Jonathan would have returned so fully to the fold.

    It also gives an insight to those of us on the other side of the world into a fascinating and vital culture. We noticed the reference to Franklin Planners, which through Utah guru Steven Covey has influenced many throughout the planet even after they shift to palm pilots and beyond.
  • As a one time inactive LDS male, Cammie reminded me of the active LDS women who treated me as an untouchable piece of trash because I had not bought into the "doctrine," hook line and sinker. Why anyone would go to so much effort to marry such a pious, self righteous, mind game playing witch is beyond me. Imagine eternity with her? That would not be heaven. Any person of the LDS faith who watches this movie and can't laugh at themselves, is taking life too seriously. Granted some of the work is stale "Mormon" humor, but if you are a member of the LDS Church, many of the scenes are very familiar. Yes, I meet with the team to get these folks reactivated and this movie has exposed some of our tricks. Time to change tactics.
  • I live in Salt Lake City and I'm not a Mormon, so why did I rent this movie? Well because I live in Utah and thought it'd be nice to see locations I know in a film. I really knew going into it that I wasn't going to get the inside jokes so I wasn't surprised when I sat with the deer in the headlights stare. What I was surprised at was the ant-non Mormon actions that were placed in this film.

    I know it's a Mormon film, catered to the members of the LDS Church, but I found it offensive because of the typical stereotype of people that isn't of their faith. Every non Mormon, which wasn't many, drank, smoked and had an amazing selfishness attitude, why?

    That really ticked me off about this film, they made the Mormons so pure, yet the rest of the state of Utah I guess is filled with punk psychos just because they don't follow the scriptures of the LDS Church.

    I can understand having the plots revolve around all LDS members, but you'd think Salt Lake City was 100% Mormon, which isn't even close to being the truth. And as I said, the non Mormons in the movie were portrayed as drunken jerks, please!

    I guess I just don't get it because I don't belong to their faith and I guess I never will.
  • I enjoyed certain parts of the "The Singles Ward", but one thing that really bothered me was how the non-Mormon archetypes were portrayed.

    I can think of only two: The male non-Mormon, who was covered with tattoos and body piercings (very scary-looking), who liked to "car bungee" and the Female non-Mormon who worked in the comedy club and was, for lack of a better term, a bitch. "Thankfully", at least the male non-Mormon, due to the good influence of his LDS roommates, went on to serve a church mission and adopted a more "clean cut" image. Sadly, I don't know what happened to the vicious tank-top-wearing bitch. I see these types of things way too much in LDS movies, which I think is unfortunate because it comes across as ignorant and bigoted, even if it is unintentional. I definitely think it says something about how non-Mormons are sometimes perceived by Mormons (especially in Utah).

    Also, I thought that Cammie's character was a little intense. I thought that the jokes Jonathan made about BYU were mild and amusing, but they made Cammie cry because they were just so "anti". At times during the movie, I wondered if God himself would fully meet her approval.

    Every time one of these movies comes out, I wonder if "this one" will be "the one" that appeals to both LDS and Non-LDS alike. I'm still waiting.
  • I am LDS. I attend a singles ward. My ward is composed of real people. The movie ward is composed of stupid stereotypes. It's not that the jokes were in-jokes--it's that they were stupid. Through their uses in the film and a loathing to be associated with it, I was tempted to give up stand-up comedy and my sister was tempted to give up scrapbooking.

    Please, if you were offended by the movie, don't blame the religion. Don't even blame Utah. Blame writers who are not as funny as they think they are and amateur actors. Cringe.
  • With the runaway success of "God's Army", every Mormon with a camera seems to be trying to make a movie now. In the case of the recent "The Other Side of Heaven", this wasn't at all a bad thing. That film, while not great, was quite good. "The Singles Ward", however, is not.

    Telling the story of a young, divorced Mormon guy thrust back into single life, the writing and shooting style of "The Singles Ward" is, in many ways, very similar to the 80s comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". However, the similarities end there. While "Ferris Bueller" was funny, original, and well-acted (as far as stupid comedies like this ever are), "The Singles Ward" is completely the opposite. It tries very hard to be funny. However, 90% of the gags either fall flat or are cliches and jokes you've probably heard a million times before. The other 10% seem to be thrown in to fill out the time. And the acting, while not awful, is amaturish at best.

    In addition, if you're not either a Mormon yourself, or very, VERY familiar with Mormon culture, you won't get hardly anything at all. Whereas "God's Army" and "The Other Side of Heaven" were appealing to a broad range of viewers, both inside and outside of the Mormon church, this film is most definitely one big inside joke, and even if you get it, it's just not that funny.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I finally saw "The Singles Ward" and, being originally from Salt Lake City, none of the "insider" jokes went over my head.

    First off, the star, Will Swenson, is simply adorable and I hope he does not waste his talent on so-called "Mormon Cinema." That would be a pity. That's one light that should not be hidden under a bushel.

    Next, I was pleased to see that the Mormon filmmakers poked a great deal of fun at themselves and their religion in this movie. E.g., naive Mormons believing that every movie star/singer/athlete is a Mormon or is taking the discussions; the reiteration of the 3 Nephite urban legends by naive RM's; the obsession of naive unmarried Mormon women to latch onto a man as fast as possible; the Jello jokes; the boring meetings, etc. They touched on a great many Mormon clichés.

    Mormons take themselves way too seriously and this was again addressed in the movie when the male teacher is exhorting his Sunday school class like they were a football team ... only to have the camera pan over to let us see his class is comprised of very small children... a Primary class.

    Quite frankly, Mormonism is pretty goofy to the rest of the world. I mean no offense by that comment but think about it: Whenever there is a reference to Mormonism in popular literature, or a TV show or a movie, it is *always* making fun of the religion. That simply is how the world perceives Mormonism, as something inherently funny.

    Also, the crushing conformity demanded by Mormonism was perfectly expressed at the end when our handsome, vivacious, leading man, Jonathan, gives up his dreams, his personality, his love of comedy, etc., to woo the uptight, Miss-Molly-Mormon, Cammie. The only thing Cammie would be good for is to put out fires; she's such a wet blanket.

    I wanted to shout at the movie, "Run, Jonathan, run! Get out of Utah!!" But, alas, young Jonathan's hormones were already stirred.

    The end of the movie is rather chilling when we see Jonathan in his Mormon suit uniform, vapid smile plastered on his face, sitting in church next to his brittle wife, Cammie, while he pretends that he's the happiest man alive when he really just a beat-down "Mormon Stepford Husband." All in all, I enjoyed the movie. I realize it's geared towards a narrow Mormons audience but I am sure there are other god-botherers who would enjoy this film, as well.
  • This movie was terrible. The plot sucked, the acting was bad, the editing was inept and this movie makes me want to poke my eyes out. I wish I had the time I spent watching this movie back. The balloon scene was stupid, the Mormon jokes are really old, the soundtrack sucked, I saw no chemistry between the two leads, it's full of stereotypes, stupid local "celeb" cameo's..most noted was Del "I'm going to drive as fast as I want to.." computer idiot. What is worst is that these actors had to play themselves on the spiritual side and even they screwed that up. This movie help create a long line of lackluster efforts to mainstream LDS beliefs into Hollywood. I.E. The RM, Church ball, etc. etc. I would forgo watching this movie and instead run head first into a brick wall. You will be more entertained than watching this poor excuse for a show.
  • ilovewrestling1829 September 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    It is just outstanding. I watched it several days in a row after my sister got the video for Christmas. I had just got back from my mission and I was so impressed by how funny this movie was, as well as heartwarming. Some may complain that it seems to preach and say that one day non-members or "Jack" Mormons will come around, but that is the point. It needs to do this. It needs to show that the main character is a person who was denying what he knew to be right, because that is what all people who reject the truth of this church do. I believe that this is a great guide to showing why this is not just something that can ever be just deemed "nice, but not for me". This is for everyone, and the movie is not a downer, but shows the positivity of the message perfectly.

    I have many friends who just like Johnathan have come back to the fold and I am glad to see it represented in such a fun manner.
  • I think this movie is great. It is funny and looking back on my own experiences in a college singles ward -- very true. Young people going through this time of their life might not enjoy the humor because it is too close for comfort but when they get older they will realize how absolutely funny and true this movie is. I loved it and I think the characters are very believable. Thanks Jonathan Jordan and company for giving my husband and I great, clean humor to enjoy. I loved the cameo appearances by many big name members of the church and the way their comments came into play was delightful. I can't say enough good things about a movie that makes you smile all the way through.
  • If you have never lived in Utah, this movie would probably really suck. However, if you do or have lived in Utah, then this is just about as funny as it gets. There are many cameos from local "celebrities" and references to other Mormon-made films (i.e. God's Army) that are very funny if you are aware of the stories behind them. Perhaps there are too many inside jokes here to be funny to those outside of Utah.

    There is nothing special about the acting - actually, it isn't very good and the story is pretty canned. Not being LDS, but having several LDS friends, though, the stereotypes that they played on were good for quite a few laughs.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    UPDATED REVIEW: The Singles Ward was non-stop laughs! Kurt Hale hit a home run in his first at-bat in making a film about the Latter-day Saint culture. While taking their faith seriously - as they should, all too often, members of the Church (more commonly referred to as 'Mormons') take themselves far too seriously, and this film is the perfect remedy for that. Poking fun at the idiosyncrasies without being blasphemous, those of us who have done time in a singles ward can easily understand what Jonathan Jordan's character is going through.

    Having done time in a singles ward myself once upon a time, I was able to easily identify with what a lot of what Jonathan went through. I must admit that as cute as I found Cammie Giles (Connie Young), I found her character extremely unlikeable in that she was WAY TOO INTENSE, as if she was going to break down and cry if the attendance at the ward party was less than 100%. There is a difference between fulfilling your call well, but Cammie was over the top, to say the least! Not my kind of gal by any stretch! Super cute on the outside, but way too many flaws on the inside to have any remote long-range potential beyond friends, not to mention some of those singles in the ward were prime candidates for the long-term psychiatric wing at Bellvue...

    The cameo appearances by Lavell Edwards, Danny Ainge, Thurl Bailey and others were well placed (unlike The R.M.), and were a lot of fun to watch. It was well-written, produced and assembled with a good cast who worked well with each other in taking a light-hearted, yet honest look at what many singles go through at that often difficult time in their lives, especially when senior Church leaders - usually parents, older siblings, bishops and stake presidents - making the push for them to make a mad rush to the altar. Jonathan felt that way, and he wound up BACK in a singles ward at the beginning of the film.

    A delight to watch and a welcome addition to my film library, The Singles Ward is a must-watch for all film fans of any, or even no religious persuasion.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 10/10. ***
  • PLEASE spend your talents doing something that will actually do some GOOD for the Church.

    Seeking comedic entertainment derived from "Mormon Culture" does nothing good to the world in broad perspective. Just think about it.

    The small LDS population of the world might find a chuckle or two in projects such as this, but it makes the rest of the world wonder if "Mormonism" should even be taken seriously if its members are making a comedic genre of their own religion. Comedic or not, there's a reason why Moroni action-figures and Bishop-Playing-Cards are independently retailed (only in Utah), and NOT approved by the church.

    Finding humor in our every day "religious" lives is great. In fact it's fantastic. But marketing them inappropriately with the expense of "Mormonism" is not only premature, but overly pretentious. Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not offended by any of this. I'm just embarrassed.

    If you're LDS, that's fine, go watch the film, have a few laughs. There might even be a message or two to justify the sub-plot. But step out of your shoes and just think for a minute. That's all I ask. If you were not a member of the LDS church actually seeking to change your life, would this "Mormon-based" film produced by the very Mormons themselves actually encourage you to take its teachings seriously? If I were not a member of the church I would be the first one making fun of these "Mormon-based" films, not to mention having any respect for its belief system. Even if I were a member. Would the Chilean church members who save up a month's salary to travel 15 hours by bus to go to the temple in Brazil for the first time in their lives actually find this film amusing? Or would the thousands of pioneers who died in the snow to establish this church years ago appreciate this comedic venture? Sure these films are all in good fun, I suppose, but at whose expense?

    It's this biased, narrow-minded Happy Valley view of the world that makes me embarrassed sometimes to be LDS. Where's the respect?

    Am I being uptight? In an LDS perspective, I probably am. In the world perspective, I'm only being logical. The LDS church was never meant to be a parcel of man-made "genres" of any kind. I will only change my opinion the day the Church decides to fund these films and starts putting the church name (title/logo) on its covers.
  • I went with high expectations of this movie, and I have to say the movie was okay, but I was disappointed with the acting. I found the acting in this movie to be subpar. The star, Will Swenson, is the only decent actor in the whole movie. The lead female, Connie Young, was I the only one completely annoyed by her performance the entire time? She drove me crazy. And the other characters seemed to be just whoever the director could talk into being in his movie. I guess at this small of a budget, that's all you can get. The cameos were just annoying, and had no point. Except maybe Gordon Jump. At least putting an experienced actor in the mix seemed to give this movie a little bit of credibility.

    You obviously have to be Mormon, or at least live in Utah to get the majority of the jokes, which isn't a bad thing, that's their prime audience I guess. But I just felt like I was watching a movie that was written like a stand up comedy act rather then a movie (no pun intended since he is a stand up comedian). Real writers don't write jokes, they write movies. And I felt like this was just one joke after another...at least they were decent jokes though.
  • tjberbaird3 November 2005
    This is a hilarious movie. Some comments that are posted refer to the movie as stereotyping...well, I guess in a way that is true, but I know people that are just like these characters in this movie. The disillusioned divorced guy, the borderline psycho chick, the day planner geek, the guy using gospel pick-up lines...etc. And really, in movies stereotyping is kinda difficult to avoid...we only get to know these people for an hour and a half. Mormon cinema is still new and poking fun at themselves is a novelty that will get old, but for now I am laughing. I thought the jokes and the characters were funny. This is fiction, but I think it is truth exaggerated.
  • I recommend this movie because it's lighthearted and very funny. We should all take a moment to laugh at ourselves once in a while. Don't take it too seriously or you just might find a reason to be offended. And don't expect an intricate storyline or very deep characters, though I am of the opinion that these characters are very real. I know people like this. I loved it. Soundtrack... catchy but on the borderline of causing offense in people who believe the hymns of the church are sacred and shouldn't be altered.
  • Although this movie would not be nearly as funny for non-LDS, as a member who has served a mission and has been to Utah and BYU several times, I found it quite hilarious.

    Although the situations were certainly exaggerated, Singles Ward hits right on the mark. The movie is cheezy but funny and entertaining, using several classic Mormon stereotypes as its primary mode of comedy - the guy who says that every celebrity is a Mormon, or who is prideful in their calling, or who sounds like the inhaled helium before bearing their testimony - the list goes on. I have watched it several times, and having seen Brigham city, God's Army, and the RM, I find this the most entertaining.
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