This film follows closely behind “The Single’s Ward”. While I thought that some of the Mormon jokes were stretched a little bit too thin in “The Single’s Ward,” I found that the humor from this film was a little funnier and more realistic. It pokes fun at some of the high expectations that lots of Returned Missionaries have upon returning from their two-year service to the Lord. To list just a few: A big Welcome Home celebration, reuniting with the love of your life, and receiving your old job back. To the dismay of Jared Phelps (Kirby Heyborne, who plays the returned Missionary), life seems to have moved on for just about everyone else except him during those two years. In attempts to readjust to normal life outside of the Mission field, there are plenty of laughs, especially for those who are familiar with the LDS culture.
One of the main plot themes is Jared Phelps trying to build a successful relationship. Throughout the end of the movie, everything seems to work out smoothly, except for Jared’s best friend, Corey (Will Swenson) who finds himself in trouble with the law.
At one point in the film, while Jared Phelps is looking for a job, he finds himself in a call center trying to sell something known as “The Filthy Filter,” intended to bleep out any profanity seemed in films. Each time a person makes a successful sale, all of the employees send out a hilarious cheer that is almost all-too real for anyone familiar with some of the many companies in Utah Valley that promises high salaries for successful salesmen. I believe it comes from that fact that Returned Missionaries easily adapt to this line of work, since as a missionary, you’re almost selling the Book of Mormon door to door, and would give them great experience in sales and how to cope with rejections and door slams.
In total, after seeing this film, I would hope that Halestorm continues to make films about the Mormon experience in modern society. However, I feel that many of the Mormon culture oddities have been overused and it would be difficult to continue creating original content. It’s fun to see a humorous spin on some very true culture points. Although this film was almost certainly filmed on an inexpensive budget, high quality acting was provided. Although I feel the plot could have used a little bit more of a development, I would rate this film a 4/5 and would highly recommend it as a clean family flick.