Haggard to appear in abstinence-touting sex comedy
See THE TRAILER.
When you hear the word “Christian,” the last words you expect to hear next are “sex comedy.”
But with “The Waiting Game,” a pro-abstinence movie (featuring a cameo by former New Life Church pastor Ted Haggard) being developed in Colorado Springs, two local men are determined to boldly go where no filmmaker has gone before.
“I love all the Judd Apatow movies — ‘40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Superbad’ — they’re all great,” says Rich Praytor, one of the producers and writers on the film. “So we wanted to take something like that into the Christian arena.”
“They’re just starving for anything comedy,” adds Emilio Martinez, who also serves as producer and writer.
They should know. A decade ago, both were up-and-coming comics in Los Angeles, having learned their craft from the likes of Kathy Griffin and Andy Dick. But the superficiality of that world and their own promiscuous lifestyles left them feeling empty inside, they say. They sought something deeper, more meaningful.
“I’ve tried every religion out there,” Martinez says. “I’ve dabbled in everything except maybe Satan worship.”
Although they hadn’t met yet, they both quit the business and moved to Colorado Springs. “Not knowing that this was the center of the Christian universe, apparently,” Praytor says, laughing.
It was here that Martinez rediscovered the faith he’d been raised in, and Praytor, who had never really left the church, found his life’s work: making Christian films.
They finally met in 2008, after Praytor posted an invitation to a script reading on Craigslist. Martinez answered his ad, and, with their similar backgrounds, the two hit it off almost immediately. A year later, they decided to make a movie together.
Like last summer’s surprise hit “Easy A,” “The Waiting Game” is basically a sexless comedy about sex. In it, a lovable loser gets dumped by his bride at their wedding. Heartbroken, he dives back into the dating scene with a vengeance, determined to lose his virginity before he walks down that aisle again.
In view of their less-than-pious pasts, do Martinez and Praytor consider it ironic that they’re now making a movie promoting abstinence?
“I only think it’s ironic in the fact that God seems to really like irony,” Martinez says. “God loves to use the foolish to show his strength.”
The pair have written several drafts of the script and recently put together a trailer, which can be viewed on YouTube. (Search for “Waiting Game Trailer,” and click the one from user onslaughtmediallc.)
They’ve even attracted a couple of famous names to the project.
One is Candace Cameron, who played the oldest daughter in the late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom “Full House.” She’s in talks to play the love interest in the film.
The other is a local celebrity: Haggard, who’ll make a funny cameo as himself.
What Martinez and Praytor need now is money — $2 million to be exact.
One of the most successful Christian films to date — 2008’s “Fireproof” — was made for $500,000.
“Most Christian movies make the mistake they get barely enough money to do the editing and get the titles on, and they have nothing left for marketing,” Martinez says.
If they reach their goal, they’ll start shooting in Colorado Springs on Sept. 1.
If they don’t? Well, then they’re going to make the film for whatever amount they raise. After all, they have absolute faith in their boss.
“We just show up,” Martinez says. “God provides the rest.”