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

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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.