Pamela’s Prayer: Movie Review
Upon watching an atheist channel, I heard of the Christian film “Second Glance”, which featured a promotional trailer for the 1998 Christian film “Pamela’s Prayer”. I watched the movie with an open mind because it seemed like it had the kind of doctrine that BarlowGirl taught… well, at least before the three sisters’ pattern of compromise. With that in mind, here is my quick review of what this movie has to offer.
- The movie focuses on traditional family values.
- Fatherhood is portrayed positively, from baby Pamela to young adult Pamela.
- At the end of every day, until her marriage to Frederic, Pamela and her dad pray.
- Once she marries, her dad respects the authority that Frederic has over Pamela.
- Pamela takes her dad’s advice by reading John 8 to Jessica, who is troubled after losing her virginity to Jerry the “Christian”.
- The pagan holiday of Christmas is celebrated.
- The jewellery industry is promoted: Jessica wears a ring post-virginity (not a purity ring?), Pamela gets a cross necklace (is it pagan?) and exchanged marriage rings (pagan for sure).
- Many other pagan or at least non-Christian wedding traditions are shown. For example, the white dress comes from Queen Victoria in 1840, according to CBC. It’s not about “purity”, as I was once led to believe. Pamela fell for that cash grab. Furthermore, she changes to a pink pyjama before her first marriage night. Also, the priest marries the couple and signs a state (government) certificate, which the Bible never commands. I have a short exposé on this.
- Filming techniques and costumes are budget. One example: starting at 29:50, nighttime is shown. Pamela and her dad are at home while Jessica is on a date with Jerry. Not even a minute later (30:30), it is day time and Jessica is seen visiting Pamela’s home to cry her heart out to Pamela. The transition was very brusque (abrupt) for one of the most heartbreaking scenes of this movie. As far as the costumes go, they seem dated. This was set in the late 80s and early 90s, yet all the clothing looks conservative, even among the bad kids. It is dated compared to today, a world where fast fashion and sportswear is rampant on campus.
- The movie is too short, just under 54½ minutes, which allows very little character or plot growth. The only big hobby that Pamela and Jessica seem to have is volleyball. Devotional time is mostly shown between Pamela and her dad, not with other believers. She and her husband both work at her dad’s Christian film club. Not much is known about Jerry, other than his desire to stay up late with girls and fornicate with them. The secular worldly culture has a much larger budget and talent pool, from short music videos to lengthy films like Titanic, to preach sexual perversion. Meanwhile, Pamela’s Prayer looks like it single-handedly focuses on promoting purity, to the point that it might have the feel of a PSA instead of a movie. Also, as other movie reviewers remarked, what about a man’s purity?
A separate, improved film with that virtue would be welcome.
Something else to point out: different artwork exists for the 1998 VHS release and for the DVD re-release. The 1998 VHS and first DVD release featured an honestly vintage cover. The re-release, however, looks like it would be a more modern movie. This gives the misleading idea that the film was updated, which is not the case. Here is the art for the sake of comparing. (Coming soon.)
Overall, I cannot recommend spending more than a few dollars (CA$7) on Pamela’s Prayer. Sure, it’s a better cause than a monthly streaming subscription or a garbage Hollywood movie, but it’s a budget film that doesn’t merit a high price tag. Hopefully the message of purity can be reintroduced in a new modern movie for theatres and Blu-Ray: one with both the male and female perspectives, one with a better-developed plot and with more Scripture, in the style of War Room.
Note: This review was originally published on BarlowGirl.ca on April 25, 2017. It is now republished here, with only a few minor changes to improve text formatting.