Leap of Faith
Steve Martin used to be one of my favorite comics, and he still can be, if he tries. Trouble is, he hasn’t been trying much lately. From his first film right up to this one, he had an amazing string of critical and financial successes. After this one, his career just seems to peter out, though I guess he’s still making money. This is one of his best. It isn’t a comedy, though there are plenty of laughs watching him capering around on stage as a big-time, high-tech tent revival preacher and con man. Watching him, you might think he’s way over the top, but I tell you, brothers and sisters, he’s not. I’ve seen a meeting like this, and there is literally no trick these guys won’t stoop to. They could sell shit in a sewer, and make you think you got a bargain. Every born-again Christian ought to see this, particularly if they’ve witnessed healing, or miracles. See how easy it is, suckers? The credits lists Ricky Jay, world’s most dangerous card thrower and a guy who knows every scam ever invented, as “Consultant: cons and frauds,” so you can take this stuff to the bank. Ever wonder what’s going through the heads of Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart, and that whole cynical bunch of evangelical salvation floggers while they’re laying their hands on your forehead and their fingers in your pockets? What a bunch of maroons!