Time Changer, Part II
After the unfortunate hot dog episode, Carlisle heads to the place we all go when we’ve just had an existential crisis.
Now knowing that 1890 is way better than 20?? in every way, Carlisle accosts an employee and informs him—
HEY BRAD HELLER’S IN THIS!!!
Brad Heller is that rarest of things: an actor in Christian films who can ACT. He was the lead (or rather, “the antagonist, an atheist” in Late One Night, which is AWESOME and COMING SOON.
He is totally gonna class up this joint.
“I am sure this manner of dress arouses sinful passions in the customers as they walk by.” [says Carlisle, referring to a dress that is off-the-shoulder (I’d tell you more, but the one sleeve is all we see)]
“Sinful passions?” [answers Heller, with a nice “WTF, dude?” look]
“Yes, sinful passions of promiscuity, especially in the younger males.”
And perhaps the younger females, Carlisle. Let’s not be excluding people.
“We must be careful of the example we portray to our young people for the goodness of all society.”
“Sir, I appreciate you voicing your opinion, and I’ll be sure to let my father [the store owner] know, and I want to thank you. But to be honest, this is the first complaint we’ve had like this. Our customers, most of them don’t seem to mind this sort of thing. Okay?” [he wanders off, leaving Carlisle looking gobsmacked and morally offended as usual]
WAIT, THAT’S IT???
SHAMEFUL UNDERUSE OF BRAD HELLER, MOVIE! SHAAAAAAAAME
Oh, also: wouldn’t an even funnier response from the salesman be, “Sinful passions of promiscuity? Great, that’s what we’re aiming for!”
Bah. Anyway, back to the laundromat and Eddie. Carlisle has decided that it’s important to interrupt Eddie in the middle of the workday to impress upon him the importance of attending church. Turns out Eddie is a Christmas-and-Easter attendee, but that is NOT ENOUGH, as we all know. He also gives Carlisle the standard sinner response of “I’m a good person because I don’t lie or cheat or hurt people.”
Ha! Dumb sinner! He shall soon learn the error of his good ways!
Carlisle then spontaneously remembers the librarian who was recommended to him as a source of help by Captain Stubing. He’s able to chat with her only for a minute BECAUSE IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE WORKDAY FOR HER, TOO, but it’s long enough to find out that she’s a good Christian and understands Carlisle’s “concerns” about the state of the world today.
After a long day of pointless proselytizing, Carlisle is feeling a mite peckish, and asks for a recommendation from a random doorman. As they chat, it comes out that the doorman is…divorced.
Oh, sure, he’s happy to be divorced and all, but hey, who cares about silly things like happiness when—
“The Lord hates divorce.”
“Hey, don’t be dumping no guilt trip on me. One out of two marriages get divorced these days—it’s not like I’m the only one. Besides, it was her fault—she was driving me crazy.”
“One out of two marriages ends in divorce…this is fifty percent.”
Wow, he is a professor!
(Carlisle’s horror at the divorce rate is a callback to his argument with Captain Stubing at the beginning of the movie, when Stubing expresses horror that the divorce rate in 1890 is five percent. But hey, 1890 was still a much better time—the good old days when husbands could beat their wives, and divorce was almost impossible to get unless you happened to be a rich white male.)
But, you can’t argue with the math, and the doorman doesn’t try. In fact, the scene cuts right here, and Carlisle heads to the diner down the street, even though it was recommended to him by a filthy, sinful divorced man. There, he overhears a conversation between a couple of teenage girls who are planning to go to a party where there will be ALCOHOL.
Newly-appointed judge of moral manners Carlisle calls them on their sinful plans…
“I am shocked at what you are saying. I cannot believe you would want to deceive your parents in this manner. … You are also speaking of consuming strong alcoholic drink which should be forbidden, especially for your age.”
…and the girls react quite how you would expect two young women to react upon finding out that a creepy middle-aged guy has been eavesdropping on them. They tell him to mind his own business, and they leave. (The movie doesn’t show them dialing 9-1 on their phones and holding their fingers over the last -1- until they’re sure he’s not following them, but I’m gonna assume they did.)
After dinner, it’s time for the church field trip to the movies. Carlisle rides shotgun, looking absolutely astounded as the van pulls out, even though he has been in 20?? for two full days now, and has seen thousands of cars and trucks. Still, he has not yet ridden in one, and arrives at the theater looking a realistic combination of terrified and carsick.
He has his Gobsmacked Face on still as he wanders through the theater lobby, even though you would think that this would be something he could easily understand. Sure, he may never have attended any sinful stage plays or operas in 1890, but he must have known what they were and what theaters looked like.
Then comes the bit from the trailer, where Carlisle shriekingly demands that the poor teenagers working concession STOP THE MOVIE BECAUSE THE MAN ON THE SCREEN BLASPHEMED THE NAME OF THE LORD OMG OMG OMG.
But I guess nothing comes of Carlisle’s massive hissy fit, because next thing we know, the whole church group is having an afterparty at someone’s home. Carlisle whines and whines about the movie, incurring the eye-rolling bemusement of two male parishioners. Their wives try to diffuse things by asking Carlisle about himself, and like an idiot, he tells them almost the whole truth: he is from “another time zone” but teaches at Generic Bible Seminary. He even gives them the address BECAUSE HE IS STUPID.
One of the wives, Ann, teaches “science and chemistry,” and invites Carlisle to come in and speak to her class, because that’s what anyone would do, right? The guy was a perfect stranger to her until three hours ago, all she knows about him is that movies approved by their church freak him out, and he is vague and cryptic about his background. A perfect candidate to come talk to a bunch of high-schoolers!
As the two ladies beg and beg and BEG Carlisle to come to the school, their husbands are starting to get suspicious. (The movie treats them like villains, so it is worth pointing out the little fact that their suspicions are COMPLETELY RATIONAL AND JUSTIFIED.) One of the guys knows that there’s no seminary at the address Carlisle gave—it’s now an industrial park.
LOL CARLISLE YOUR SCHOOL IS GONE
The other guy, a cop, agrees to look into things the next day.
Later, back at his hotel, Carlisle looks out the window and witnesses something that morally horrifies him yet again—a bunch of kids are hanging out and TALKING WITH EACH OTHER.
I KNOW, RIGHT? Almost enough to make one give up on humanity entirely.
Check out the guy on the left, rocking the spiky mohawk.
I think I’ll make this into a three-part critique, because things start getting SUPER EXCITING from here, as the two villains investigate Carlisle’s claims, and Marian the RTC Librarian tells Carlisle all about how much the 21st century sucks.