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  • "Baptists at Our Barbecue" is the first movie I've seen in a long time that sent me out of the screening feeling great, happy to be alive, with a new love of other people...at least the first movie since "Napoleon Dynamite." This movie is full of overtly Mormon and Baptist characters, and yet it was accessible to everyone I saw it with, despite their wide range of beliefs. The story is about a small town of half Mormons and half Baptists, their bizarre religious feud, and the strange series of events that conspire to change their situation. It's also a love story, between an everyman forest ranger - twenty-nine, and convinced he might always be single - and a beautiful woman who comes to town to recover from a bad break-up. The town's bizarre feud makes things difficult for their relationship to progress, and yet brings them closer, as well, through a series of hilarious, surprising developments, and a sweet, touching ending that made me want to fall in love. It also made me feel grateful for the chance to break from laughing. ...My ribs hurt.
  • I felt compelled to write this after reading some of the negative reviews for Baptists at our Barbecue. I bought this DVD on a whim at Hollywood Video and it was just a lot of fun to watch.

    Yes, it's clearly a low-budget little movie but I very much liked the actors and thought the did a great job. I'm not sure where some of the other reviewers are coming from in putting them down. It's a quirky movie with odd characters, most of whom are over-the-top. Would you expect subtlety? Other reviewers have criticized Heather Beers' performance as flat in the co-starring role. Maybe a little, but she is beautiful and pleasant and I'll be looking for her other movies, though I don't think there are many.

    As for insider Mormon jokes, I felt like I got most if not all of the humor and I am not LDS. And I did find the movie to be funny in a gentle way. I don't know that I laughed out loud but it was enjoyable and, again, quirky without being strange or stupid. I like off-beat movies and I found this one to be easier to watch than, say, Big Fish or O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    Finally, I really enjoyed the soundtrack. Much of the music just put a smile on my face.
  • mickeyrene24 April 2006
    I may not be mormon, but I LOVED this movie. It's cute, clean, and well worth watching. Not to mention, Tartan isn't too hard on the eyes either! Although the movie starts out somewhat slow, the love story soon comes into play between Tartan and Charity. I found myself cheering for the couple all the way through the movie. If you are a Christian, I would definitely recommend it. My only complaint is they never really tell you why the Baptists and the Mormons don't get along. I would have liked to have some more information of their differing theologies. I read up on the main actor, and it turns out that he is Mormon in real life too. But don't mistake this movie for evangelizing; it is subtle in its religious texts and does not force anything upon the viewer.
  • Not really a great movie, or a great use of talent, and the portrayal of the Church and the situation in the town was unbelievable and ridiculous, BUT: it had its very funny moments, and was clean. The underlying theme of getting along and resolving differences by bringing people of varying ideas together was apt and even noble. I'm a Mormon and I know my Baptist cousins are taught at we (Mormons) are going straight to hell, but they are still accepting of me and my family. Hence, to an extent, the movie rings true.

    Just a note to the critics: This isn't a statement about Mormon doctrine or the grander social wars in our world or in American culture; this movie is, obviously, mostly an insider (to Mormons) poke-fun-at-ourselves type of movie. No reason to get all uppity about whether the movie took upon itself the most appropriate disparate subcultures of Christianity, or whether Mormons could truly accept anyone but others so (from the outside) similar.
  • Baptists at Our Barbecue is a movie apparently produced primarily for a Mormon audience. By way of example, there are any number of inside jokes and references that Gentiles will probably miss entirely, a stark contrast to Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon where even outsiders get the jokes. But much like Lake Woebegon, the essential plot and almost comic innocence of the characters who populate this movie make it broadly appealing.

    The story is simple enough: an unmarried, 29 year-old Mormon forest ranger decides to accept a transfer to the oddball town of Longfellow to escape the efforts of his mother (and the efforts of the mothers of every unmarried girl in Provo) to get him hitched. But Longfellow is no ordinary town. Tucked away somewhere in the beautiful Rockies, it is a community precisely divided between Baptists and Mormons. This balance, and the competition is engenders, essentially fuels the movie. Yes, there are the colorful and eccentric characters we have come to expect from small town settings ever since Andy Griffith introduced us to Barney, Floyd and the rest of the off-kilter residents of Mayberry; and there is the central love story between "Tartan," the main character, and the incredibly beautiful "Charity," played by Heather Beers. There is even an antagonist, the pathetic "Rich" who provides the movie's small amount of tension and danger.

    What unfolds is general silliness wrapped around a deeper story of the Baptist and Mormon communities coming together. Recalling the original Star Trek episode, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," starring Frank Gorshin, the essential point of this movie is that while the Mormons and Baptists of Longfellow may see each other as starkly "different," to the eyes of outsiders they are in fact all but identical. Where skin-deep differences in "Let That Be…" led to tragedy, however, the characters in Barbecue eventually come to see that the differences are unimportant.

    Neither the script nor the essential story call for great acting, and the cast does a more than decent job engaging us in the respective quirks of their characters. If there is one fault to be found in this movie it is that in an effort to depict the characters as completely wholesome, even essential human emotions are bleached out of existence. While the addition of graphic sex would NOT have improved the story one iota, the main character's lack of response when his house is torched by the local miscreant strikes a dissonant chord and somehow loses him the sympathy the audience has built for him. But this is a small quibble and maybe there really are towns like this somewhere where people just naturally and repeatedly turn the other cheek Would that it were so….we could all learn a lesson from such tolerance.
  • First, I'm not a Mormon, nor am I a Baptist (although I am a born-again Christian). Second, I'm a big indie fan (I generally hate blockbusters). Third, as much as I love movies, I'm tired of sex and cursing thrown in for no good reason than prurience, which generally distracts from the story line. Fourth, I love watching movies with my family (kids aged 13-23), but trying to find one that appeals to all age groups without insulting or embarrassing at least one at some level is quite a challenge.

    How refreshing to see a movie that portrays religion as an integral part of life (as it is in my family and my circle of friends) without the main (religious) characters being portrayed as boorish, hypocritical, sanctimonious, etc. They're normal. And they consider God to be a normal part of their lives. Do I know boorish, hypocritical, and sanctimonious religious people? Of course I do. I also know NON-religious people who fall into that category. But the media generally presents religious people ONLY in those terms (or else totally wimpish and ineffective, like Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H). So there were boorish, hypocritical, and sanctimonious people, both Mormon and Baptist, in this movie. There are in my church, as well. But there are also good, well-meaning, and even just quirky people who are just doing their best in a world that teaches us to satisfy every personal desire ("Try every possible sexual permutation! You owe it to yourself!") than to try to discipline one's personal desires and do something that seems distasteful, even if it's the "right" thing to do ("Try reaching out to someone who is different from you -- even if you're scared. You both might learn something.")

    Simplistic story? Maybe. Boy meets girl, boy may lose girl, etc. There is an element of The Wizard of Oz in here -- "There's no place like home," even if it's not the most exciting place. The acting was fine -- certainly no worse than many other (and much better-known) actors' efforts (Nicholas Cage comes to mind as an overpaid one-note -- or should I say one-whine -- "thespian"). Were there some clichéd situations presented (i.e., the wise Native American)? Yes, but again, no more so than in other multi-million cinematic efforts. Of course, since my personal beliefs are closer to Baptist than to Mormon, I would have preferred to have seen the story told from a Baptist-as-peacemaker perspective, but ultimately it made no difference.

    Thanks, Christian Viussa. I hope to see more of your work in the future.
  • The story of the film was as simple minded as its morality: Go find a girl, marry her, live with her happily ever after. Though the film had some fine moments and turns, most of it stayed at the surface of what might have been shown in a film with the same storyline.

    The Baptist/Mormon struggle was only touched superficially and was mocked about, probably intentionally. A more interesting story would have been a mixed couple.

    If you wanna see a film which doesn't need too much concentration, which can be watched by the whole family and which teaches your children modest and conservative values (besides the modern tolerance stuff ;-) ), you will be fine with this film. Might be shown at a family-home-evening...
  • I was very pleasantly surprised by this film. The movie is based around an old feud between the Mormons and the Baptists in a po-dunk town in Arizona. Tartan, a born and raised Utahan, moves there to work as a forest ranger. He is at first astonished at the quirky townspeople and the religion war, and then later helps to relieve the tension. While doing this, he falls madly in love a member's visiting niece. The two have great chemistry and their story is totally original. Anyone (Mormon or not) would really enjoy this film. It is a light-hearted comedy with a message. I am also impressed that it isn't just another LDS comedy, it has a completely different (and better) feel to it. While there is some funny physical comedy, the lines really are funny as well (not cheesy). Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it anyone.
  • 'Baptists at Our Barbecue' is the best film ever made. Now, that I got your attention with that horribly inaccurate statement that should be a hanging offense if spoken, let me begin my short overview of this tacky, offensive, pretentious and boring hunk of junk I guess you could consider a movie. First of all, the low budget of this stinker is totally obvious based on the very poor and inexperienced direction of Christian Vuissa, and the tacky, overly preachy, whiny and stilted screenplay by F. Mathew Smith. I really despise the fact that it sends a very pro-Mormon, and sort of anti-every other religion message. Yes, the story is about a small town half full with Mormons and half full with Baptists. It shows all the main and role-model characters being Mormon, and being so nice and perfect, yet they are being picked on by the evil, conniving and very judgmental Baptists. It shows how beautiful Mormons are and how cold-hearted and ignorant Baptists are, instead of showing a little solidarity like would be appropriate and realistic. I'm a part of neither religion (I'm actually an atheist), but this offended me, along with another countless amount of Baptists most likely. It shows the Baptists as being very unopened and unwelcoming to the Mormons, and the Mormons being very accepting, when again, in reality there is a mutual like/dislike between them. Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on a rant.

    Another aspect of 'Baptists at Our Barbecue' I didn't much care for, was the acting. The performances are very amateurish and unnatural, especially from the female lead Heather Beers. Miss Beers stumbles her way through her part without any passion or feeling for her role, and I wasn't too much impressed with Dan Merkley, who's the main character in this lackluster of a motion picture, but I have to say he's way more talented or shows more talent in this film then Heather Beers. Whoever played the town sheriff was awful also. Although there is maybe a tiny laugh deep within the film, it is full of clichés. For example, the main character, Tartan (Merkley), finds solace with a Native American who always gives him the best advice on things relating to a tribal way of life - how cliché is that? To make the situation even more of a pathetic cliché, Tartan buys the poor, lonely heathen a puppy dog. Ugghhh!

    If you want my advice, stay as far away from 'Baptists at Our Barbecue' as you can. I saw it on the shelf and thought it would be a cute and interesting little indie about religion. All I got was a, well, piece of crap. Grade: D-

    my ratings guide - A+ (absolutley flawless); A (a masterpiece, near-perfect); A- (excellent); B+ (great); B (very good); B- (good); C+ (a mixed bag); C (average); C- (disappointing); D+ (bad); D (very bad); D- (absolutley horrendous); F (not one redeeming quality in this hunk of Hollywood feces).
  • laughing_cat16 June 2020
    We bought this movie a few years ago and finally got around to seeing it. We howled with laughter! It's just hilarious, quirky, and fun. Corny, yes, but who cares? It's a feel-good movie in a world that needs some feelin good.
  • petroumk17 April 2005
    First of all this movie is not a comedy; unless you really force yourself you can hardly laugh. Secondly, the movie is slow and boring. The acting is not bad but not special. There is a Lucky Luke comic about two families (one with big noses and one with big ears) fighting each other in a small town... you will laugh much more if you read this instead of wasting your time with this movie. Religions and dogmas are not the best source to make a good comedy and this movie does nothing more than confirm this rule. There is a similar subject comedy '' The home teachers'' ; this had some good moments. My final comment is: do not waste your time and money to watch this uninspired and boring film.
  • Generally, I've found that if you don't hear about a movie prior to seeing it on DVD, there's probably a good reason for it. I hadn't heard about this movie at all until I was in a Blockbuster the other day and saw it on a shelf. Since all the good movies had already been rented out (the ones I wanted to see, anyway), I figured I'd give this one a shot.

    It's really not much different than other movies in the genre, such as The Singles Ward or the R.M. If you're into those type movies, you'll probably enjoy this.

    However, if you're not a mormon, this movie probably won't appeal to you. There's no way to avoid the overtly religious (mormon) message contained within, and at times it comes across as sappy and cheesy. Ultimately, if you don't fall within the mormon demographic, you're probably better off watching something else.

    Admittedly, there were some very funny moments in the film, but I didn't think that it was enough to salvage the movie overall.
  • golfjrk3 June 2006
    Movie about a small town with equal numbers of Mormons and Baptists. New family moves in, cue the overwritten dialog, mediocre acting, green jello salad with shredded carrots, and every other 'inside Mormon joke' known to man. Anyone outside the Mormon culture will have a hard time stomaching this movie. Anyone inside the Mormon culture will be slightly amused with a chuckle here and there. You'll be much better off watching Hess's other movies (Napoleon Dynamite, etc..) than trying to sit through this one. The acting is mediocre. Jared Hess has had his hands on much more quality films like "Saints and Soldiers", and "Napoleon Dynamite". I would recommend both movies over this groaner.
  • This movie was awful. I had a very difficult time watching this all the way through. I didn't get the point of the movie. What was the point of this movie? The soundtrack was bad, acting was bad and the story uninspiring. The two main characters in the movie were very boring and their dialog was uninteresting. There was no chemistry among any of the cast members. I don't know this for a fact, but I suspect that most of the actors were first timers. The movie could have easily been cut down to about an hour and half without losing the plot. That indicates how many useless scenes there were in the movie. I would have rather ha a root canal during the two hours of the movie. I want those two hours back! If you want to watch good, funny movie that is family friendly and made by a bunch of mormons, watch Napoleon Dynamite instead.