This is me whimpering at my desk

And not in the good way. In the bad, bad, I am a wide-eyed woodland creature whose fluffy bunny foot is caught in a trap and I'm being held over a shark tank way.

A lady came in to ask a question about LDS authors, so I went to Deseret Book's website to see if I could find what she was looking for.

I saw this:

The London background intrigued me, so I clicked on the link and read the following description:

Anxiously Engaged: A Piccadilly Romance

First he found a fiancée, then he fell in love.

Carson Wells is a good-natured Returned Missionary from Montana who is engaged to a trendy girl from London. But before he is allowed to take Lucy to the temple, he must first find a husband for her sensible, older sister Jema. One by one Carson's attempts to find a worthy suitor for Jema become more than he bargained for as his feelings for Lucy begin to change. Anxiously Engaged is a bright romantic comedy where two culturally different people find love in an uncommon way.

There are so, so, so very many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin.

First of all, since when do we capitalize returned missionary?

Also, what is even up with the movie's premise? Who exactly sets those conditions? Who is it that decided some sassy English girl needs a Montana hick to find her a man? I just read that it's her grandfather who makes that a condition. Also, is said sassy English girl actually going along with this sexist bit of awfulness? I'm sorry, but I would kick my grandpapa's false teeth right out of his head. My brain is leaking out my ears at that one.

And the name Jema? Were they possibly thinking of Gemma, which is an actual English name? (Note: Just checked on IMDB and the character's name is Gemma, not Jema. Freaking Deseret Book.)

I don't know where this thing was released in theatres, but apparently some people have seen it. The family who commented on the IMDB page have seen it four separate times. Which means they must live in a cactus or something where there's absolutely nothing else to do.

Maybe I should track down a copy and watch it this weekend with my sisters. We haven't gone into a full on harpies-from-Macbeth rant in a while now. Might be funs.

PS. There's an official website with a trailer, which I haven't watched yet. Will be getting right on that.


Scully said... [reply]

I just threw up a little in my mouth when I read that. Also, way to steal, dismember, and misinterpret Taming of the Shrew, via some third-rate Austen-wannabe.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Scully's comment is perfect. I have lately wondered if all the good stories have already been written. Publishers hunt and hunt for "new" stories to tell and the result is perfect drivel, or clever ideas muddied in weak writing. I quit reading those Deseret Book inserts when I began trying to get published. Instead of writing with an authentic voice I began thinking of gruesome ways to kill off my characters or get them dating academy award nominees. Gore, sex and glamour is even popular with a Mormon audience.

chinese maple said... [reply]

My sisters rented this last week, and I can't even begin to explain the experience. Just stay away. The movie itself was so terrible that I couldn't even work up a respectible rant at some of the stupid things these characters said.

Cicada said... [reply]

Actually I thought of this movie when I read your post about you being a movie snob. I pass a billboard for it every time I am down in Provo.

amyjane said... [reply]

You know what struck me first when I read about this little gem of a flick in my DB mailer, was that all of the names: Gemma, Carson, and Lucy are all names that are super popular NOW, not 20-30 years ago when these characters would have been born. And my second thought? Steph is gonna LOOOOVE this one.

Edgy said... [reply]

Having worked for LDS publishing, let me just say that I was very much not surprised when I first saw the blurb for this in the DB mailer. As an editor, one of the things I learned was that if I wanted to get something past the marketing or financial committee, I had to be able to bill it as:

the LDS DaVinci Code
the LDS Taming of the Shrew
the LDS Pride and Prejudice
the LDS Oliver Twist
the LDS Harry Potter
the LDS Debbie Does Dallas*

Pretty pathetic, really.

*Okay, so I never actually billed something as the LDS Debbie Does Dallas, but that doesn't make me wish I hadn't had something come across my desk that I could bill as that. That would have been good times.

Sakhmet said... [reply]

I thought this was going to be the LDS "Brokeback Mountain" in which Carson falls in love with one of the boys meant for Gemma. Maybe for the sequel.

banana said... [reply]

LOL - I have to say if you reach back into the far depths of your mind you might just recognise the male lead in this film! He was at the Festinord I went to in Denmark the other year - you watched the DVD I brought back with all the funny clips and he was the 'newsreader'. So my claim to fame is I've met him! Sad huh?!

PS. He was really cheesy then - I can only imagine how awful he'd be in film!

lilcis said... [reply]

Let me guess, in his quest to find a husband for Gemma he realizes that he's really in love Gemma.

Well maybe he shouldn't rushed into marrying someone he really doesn't know then, huh? Huh? HUH?

This reminds me of a book I keep seeing in my DB flier: "The Bishop's Bride"

Andrew McCammon, a widower, knows that he shouldn’t be nervous going in for an interview with the stake president. They are friends, after all, and have worked together closely over the past few years. But something is still niggling at the back of his mind . . .
In one sentence, his stake president deals Andrew two of the biggest shocks of his life: First, he is called to be the new bishop of his ward. The second is even more alarming — he has three weeks to meet a woman, fall in love, and get engaged.
What follows is a sweet, hilarious, and thoroughly enjoyable story of one man’s faith and obedience, intertwined with a series of delightfully bizarre events that guide the right woman to him. Readers of all ages will love this rollicking, exciting novel.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Banana, shut up! THAT is Festinord guy??? Bwah hahahah! I remember thinking he was cute. Although, I was so jetlagged when we watched that (it was my first day in England) that it's no wonder I didn't recognize him . . .

BEFore said... [reply]

This is why I have issues with "LDS" ___________. Not only is it sub-par, it's just plain embarrassing to be associated with in any way.

Squirrel Boy said... [reply]

As bad as that movie looks, I think this one actually looks worse.

kristen said... [reply]

I thought you weren't going to waste your time with stupid movies ;-)

So what.....the guy is engaged to one person, then falls in love with another? What kind of message is this sending out?

btw--loved the comment, sakhmet; disturbing, but funny.

Miss Hass said... [reply]

Awful, awful, awful. Aren't there enough really wonderful movies out there to avoid making insipid crap billed as somehow acceptable to Mormons? And really, if this were the premise of a non-DB approved film how many of this movie's target audience would go see it?


Azúcar said... [reply]

Somehow, I want this movie to go horribly wrong. I want it to be a Leah for Rachel, then Rachel too, story. Is that bad of me?

miranda said... [reply]

This is why "LDS fiction" does not appeal to me in any form. Gaack!

Rynell said... [reply]

I wince when I see the billboard advertising this movie.
I am not from this sheltered planet of Utah, but now I live here and will not ever get used to this sort of drivel.

Natalie said... [reply]

This sounds craptastic! The Bishop's Bride sounds even more craptastic! Thank heaven for Deseret Book to keep the crapometer peaking!

Also, who lives in a cactus?

daltongirl said... [reply]

I think maybe it's a toss up between this movie and Squirrel Boy's. I can't decide which one looks worse. I'm sorry to say that Lola thinks RWH looks good. Then again, she's 13. Let's leave it at that, instead of having everyone make assumptions about what a terrible mother I am.

Saxon said... [reply]

makes me glad my company does not publish romance novels!

chosha said... [reply]

I'm chuckling right now, because when I first saw this movie I thought it might be fun to see. Of course that's mainly because I loved '10 Things I Hate About You', also a Taming of the Shrew remake. And re Scully's comment, ever since I found out that in the original TotS the guy LOCKS HER UP to break her 'willful' spirit, I've come to appreciate people who misinterpret TotS, at least a little bit.

Anyway, sounds like if I was getting a video night together for this one, this would not be the crowd to invite. :)

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