Film Review: ‘I’m in Love with a Church Girl’

Originally posted on Variety:

The road to hell is paved with well-intentioned clunkers like “I’m in Love with a Church Girl,” a strenuously sincere but tediously schematic and heavy-handed attempt at cinematic proselytizing for Christianity. To be sure, one doesn’t expect much in the way of subtlety from filmmakers sufficiently hubristic to list God as an executive producer. (Inquiring minds want to know: Did He get points?) But like most other recent evangelistic pics, this one isn’t likely to reach beyond its target flock.

Didactically scripted by Galley Molina, a real-life pastor who reportedly based the screenplay on his own born-again experiences, and slackly directed by Steve Race, “Church Girl” tells the come-to-Jesus story of Miles Montego (rapper-actor Jeff “Ja Rule” Atkins), a former drug kingpin who has reinvented himself as a legit concert promoter. Unfortunately, Miles undermines his reformation by hanging out with longtime buddies still active as gangstas. Even more unfortunately, his every…

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