I’m in Love With a Church Girl
Posted: October 18, 2013 at 2:24 a.m.
While it is wise to thank the Almighty for all that has been good in our lives, crediting him as an executive producer on a movie seems strangely comical.
Screenwriter Galley Molina, who also briefly appears as a pastor, has based I’m in Love With a Church Girl on his own experiences. It’s easy to wonder if it’s more worthwhile to hear him recount his journey to salvation from the pulpit than it is onscreen.
For a movie that involves crime, love and redemption, I’m in Love With a Church Girl is oddly uninvolving and uneventful. There is some unintentional humor when the film’s leading man Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins asks God to take him instead of his beloved Vanessa Leon (Adrienne Bailon). Requesting a flight to hell seems an odd way of telling God to take you instead of someone you truly care about.
As the title implies, Miles Montego (Atkins) is a retired gangsta who currently makes his coin as a concert promoter and is smitten by Vanessa, who wants to see him in church instead of hopping from club to club. While Molina finds a couple of formidable tests for Miles’ new found faith, his life seems pretty easy for a retired dope peddler. Essentially, he goes from being a rich criminal to being a rich legitimate businessman. It’s not much of a leap.
Then again, Atkins isn’t all that dynamic either. Unlike Ice-T or Ice Cube, who have proved they can work as well on camera as they can behind a microphone, Atkins’ impassive features are less expressive than those of Vanilla Ice. Perhaps Molina cast the wrong moonlighting rapper.
For a fellow who’s being pursued by a couple of determined Drug Enforcement Administration agents (Stephen Baldwin and Michael Madsen), Miles’ life seems pretty tranquil. His old gangsta buddies aren’t eager to rat on him, and Vanessa seems only mildly bothered that Miles started his fortune selling drugs. For a romance that supposedly leads a hardened outlaw to the Lord, I’m in Love With a Church Girl has little more to offer than montages of the happy couple sitting in scenic spots.
Having chimes playing in the background when Miles first spots Vanessa isn’t terribly romantic, either.
Because so little happens other than montages or monologues, maybe it is time to start going back to church. It can’t be any less thrilling or soul stirring than the movie.
I’m in Love With a Church Girl 70 Cast: Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin, Martin Kove, Michael Madsen, Vincent Pastore, Galley Molina Director: Steve Race Rating: PG, for thematic elements, a scene of violence, some suggestive content and brief language Running time: 118 minutes
MovieStyle, Pages 37 on 10/18/2013