I was doing the internet equivalent of ‘flipping through the channels’ the other day and stumbled across The Pastor and The Pro on Amazon Prime. The premise sounded intriguing, if not standard, for a rom-com:
A young, single pastor needs a quick date for a big church dinner so he hires an escort. But as she becomes more entangled in his life, her demands become more outrageous. Now he must navigate a moral mine field as he uses the unholy alliance to advance his ministry career. And things get more complicated when he starts to fall in love with her.
Yeah, sounds like every other romance/chick lit novel out there, minus the pastor part. But it was that pastor part that made it intriguing. It’s not too often that a cleric is portrayed as the male protagonist in a romantic comedy.
Then I read it was Christian film (hence the pastor part … duh!), and I cringed: this genre hasn’t had a good track record for good films. They tend to be more preachy and cheesy than realistic. Still, I decided to watch it.
I’m not going to lie and say it was the sleeper hit of the year (2018, to be precise). But it wasn’t terrible either. It definitely looked its budget (which was reported to be about $11,000, chump change in Hollywood), and there was some preaching; plus that ‘sanitized’ version of the world you tend only to see in Christian books and films, where the issues are very singular, very black-and-white, very #firstworldproblems (in this case, the pastor took issue with lying). But it was also well-acted and a lot deeper than I thought it would be. Realistic too. At one point, the pastor and the pro even made out (no spoiler alert there, it is a rom-com). There was no sex (again, Christian movie), but their actions made sense in light of the story they were telling; and I think that’s what made me appreciate the film most — preaching aside, the writer/director created and developed characters and then let the characters tell the story. That doesn’t always happen and it can be frustrating to watch/read when a character does something out of … well, character.
There also wasn’t a happily-ever-after at the end. But in a strange way, it was satisfying because it fit in with the story. I think that’s the part that surprised me the most: I am a die-hard romantic-at-heart and will usually skip ahead to find out if the leads end up together, thereby justifying my efforts to watch the film. They don’t, but the story made sense.
All that being said, I don’t want to pump this up as a change-your-life kind of film. It wasn’t. But if this is your genre and your kind of film, and you appreciate well-developed characters and good acting, I would say it’s worth the watch.