"Being Two-Faced Is Risky Business"
In ALTAR EGOS, Pastor John Bridges is struggling to pastor his small church of mostly elderly people. They’re good people, but as the son of the deceased previous pastor, he’s constantly reminded of his father’s qualities and how he’s failing to live up to them. With the mega church across the street rubbing his small church numbers in his face, John becomes determined to bring a change to the church, to shake things up and bring more people. His congregation, however, is determined that things will stay the way they are, particularly the choir director, Mary Margaret.
With the Christmas Pageant coming up, John believes this is his opportunity to start the “much needed” change. He walks into the pageant’s floundering practice with new scripts and a confident demeanor, only to be told off by Mary Margaret and warned that if he wants change, that is precisely what he is going to get. The next Sunday there is no choir, and John is informed his job is on the line. The congregation likes the choir, after all.
Pastor John determines to get the choir back so that he can save this job he loves so much, but how?
Driving home from his son Jack’s theater practice it dawns on him that Mary Margaret won’t ever listen to a young person like him, she’ll only listen to an elderly person. The only thing to do, naturally, is to become an old person! With the help of his son’s makeup skills, the two of them dress up as old men and hit the mall for a test run. While there, Jack sees his crush, Holly, in a fight with her boyfriend. Seeing her in distress. he comes to her aid and humiliates her (now ex) boyfriend with some witty words and a cane. Holly’s mother runs to them with words of thanks and invites them to her Christmas party. Oh, and Mary Margaret will be there. The game is afoot.
Joining the circle was the easy part. Keeping Holly’s mom off of Jack and getting close to Mary Margaret is a little trickier, but the two of them manage with some quick thinking and a plethora of lies.
ALTAR EGOS is charming and funny with witty dialogue and excellent performances from Robert Amaya (Pastor John) and Max Morgan (Jack). A cursory glance may seem to imply defending and accepting deceit, but ultimately John must face up to his mistakes and repent. He also has to distinguish between acting to protect his father’s church and his own selfish pride. There are some moments when the elderly are the brunt of the joke, but ultimately the movie extols respect for the elderly. Although ALTAR EGOS ultimately teaches a positive Christian worldview, the road there is rather twisted with lies, hurt feelings, and some sore knuckles along the way. Because of this, light caution is advised for young children.
(CC, BB, Ab, V, S, M) Strong Christian, biblical worldview of humility, showing respect to elders, Scripture references, shows lying doesn’t pay, portrays repentance from sin, with positive family portrayals, but with some lying and other aberrant content; no obscenities or profanities, but boy uses mean insult, girl urinates on floor, towel with urine on it is thrown into man’s face; light violence when boy gets punched in the face and when boy gets hit in the groin; woman touches man’s leg suggestively, girl tells boy not to touch her; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, mother is portrayed as a bimbo, man and boy lie often, this is shown as funny but doesn’t work out well for them, some parental disrespect, older people are sometimes the brunt of the joke.
ALTAR EGOS is about Pastor John Bridges and his small, mostly elderly church. His now deceased father was once the pastor of this small church, but John believes now is the time for change. The congregation believes otherwise, especially Mary Margaret, the choir director. In a somewhat logical attempt to get close to and influence Mary Margaret, John and his son, Jack, wind up impersonating old people and end up getting more than they bargained for in the process. Emotions are high and lies abound, but John must ultimately learn to face his pride and find what’s truly important.
ALTAR EGOS is well made with charming characters, witty dialogue and excellent performances by the stars. One woman has an unbecoming crush on a couple of men and makes some unwelcome advances, but the story remains relatively innocent and progresses nicely despite some awkward moments. Although it ultimately teaches a positive Christian worldview, the road there is twisted with a multitude of lies, hurt feelings, and some sore knuckles along the way. Because of this, light caution is advised for young children.