Rick Santorum, Susan Boyle Faith-Based Film ‘Christmas Candle’ Blown Out In Theaters

Rick Santorum, Susan Boyle Faith-Based Film 'Christmas Candle' Blown Out In Theaters

The holiday movie from EchoLight Studios has a 15% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Rick Santorum and Susan Boyle's holiday movie “The Christmas Candle” opened in theaters on Friday but with a “Hunger Games” sequel dominating the box office, the faith-based film failed to catch fire with audiences, or critics for that matter.

Santorum, former Republican presidential nominee, is the CEO of EchoLight Studios, which distributed “Christmas Candle.” The story is set in 1890 in an English village where a candle grants one wish every 25 years at Christmas time. With electricity coming, the Christmas Candle legend could end forever. Boyle makes her feature film debut as the church warden's wife.

Also Read: Rick Santorum Joins the Movie Business as New CEO of EchoLight Studios

Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News wrote: “This odd Dickens-meets-Sunday-school movie is as artless as the setup is muddled… It's as if a little plastic holiday village came to life. Except that might be interesting.”

The New York Post‘s critic Kyle Smith said the film follows the “standard template of a nonbeliever who changes his outlook amid a holiday miracle… Ultimately this throwback, made-for-TV-style film takes the easy way out in a cheesy climax, but its resolute quaintness may appeal to the kind of viewers who regard electricity as disturbingly newfangled.”

“The whole thing is sentimental corn, which isn't bad if it's handled with conviction and sincerity. But the direction by John Stephenson (better known for special effects than directing) is resolutely stiff and hollow,” said critic Randy Cordova of the Arizona Republic.

“Only the most diehard fans of holiday pablum will be able to swallow this Bible-banging hunk of whimsy,” declared David Noh of Film Journal International.

“Although at times it seems to be building emotional momentum, by the end it falls flat — tripped by its conflicting ambitions, overload of metaphoric events, and lack of powerful catharsis,” concluded Louis Black of the Austin Chronicle.

Also Read: Susan Boyle and Rick Santorum Are Finally Teaming Up (Video)

“The Christmas Candle” did garner one good review from a top critic on Rotten Tomatoes, where the film has a 15% fresh rating.

Martin Tsai of the Los Angeles Times wrote:  ”It's always nice to have an earnest little movie that reminds you of the true spirit of Christmas amid the overwhelming consumerism of holiday shopping. And in spite of its decidedly Christian theme, the film's overarching message about the power of community and faith should resonate across different denominations and beliefs.”

Perhaps Santorum should stick to politics and leave the filmmaking to professionals.

  • Know-It-All

    “Santorum, former Republican presidential nominee…” Hmm. How soon people forget. Well, I guess he is forgettable, but Mitt Romney was the GOP nominee, not Santorum.

  • Grumpy In Kalifornee

    Y'all can't say its not “catched fire” with just two days of U.S. release never mind U.K. release where its primary audience should be. Word of mouth will push up audience attendance; Susan Boyle's singing should help that as well. I don't appreciate the slap at Santorum, ya'll obviously have animus against him, shame on you lady!

    • ratbag

      You do know that all films are not unanimously praised. And, claiming bias because it's Santorum is pretty stupid. Sounds like a bad film.

    • Amdazzler

      I don't think it was a shot at Santorum, some people just didn't care for the film. Aren't they are allowed to have an opinion just like the rest of us?

    • Amdazzler

      Also, the opening weekend CAN be a make it or break it moment for many films, and I see this one being no different from the rest. Maybe it will do well, maybe it won't, we really have no way of knowing.

  • marjo

    Santorum didn't MAKE the movie. He was made CEO of the company that's distributing it after the film was completed.
    I saw the movie and despite not being overly religious myself I enjoyed it very much. I didn't believe that Clarence the angel was sent down to earth so he could earn his wings in Its A Wonderful Life either but I still enjoyed the film.

    • Amdazzler

      I don't understand why some of you are getting so worked up. So not everyone's going to enjoy this ffilm, so what? Aren't we all allowed an opinion on the matter?

    • britchick292002

      why can't you let people just enjoy the movie for what it is? if violence is your thing, there are plenty of movies to satisfy you. this movie was wonderful and it showed that in spite of all the negativity, there is always something to be hopeful for.

  • Kathy

    SAW THE MOVIE – Left in tears from the sweet spirit of the movie! Makes you smile! Don't miss it!

  • Scott550

    The “movie” is a dreadful pile of mr. frothy pablum, fit for those with an IQ as low as this weekends grosses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    The people who enjoy this film are probably the same sorts of people who think that Thomas Kinkade's paintings are “art.”

  • Sam Robins

    I didn't know what to expect from the movie but after seeing it and the messages I got from it – that was what made the movie enjoyable and worth seeing. If you don't get any of those messages, you won't enjoy the movie. There are just some people who will never get it and that's too bad for them.

  • Mark Fisher

    Walked out poor wast of time find another job

  • Tin Lilly

    Wonderfully made I loved this movie, During the Christmas season I love to see these type of movies with my family.