In this time of turmoil and uprising, we need the arts more than ever. The family film, ‘Selfie Dad,’ was scheduled to release in theaters, but because of COVID-19, the film released premium on Demand. This film was directed and written by Brad J. Silverman and stars Christian comedian Michael Jr. as the lead protagonist. The story starts with a video clip of Michael’s character, Ben Marcus, performing stand up comedy in the 90s. It was clear Marcus had talent, but when we fast forward to the present day, Ben isn’t doing that. Ben Marcus is stuck at a job he despises as an editor for a reality television show, his wife is telling him to be more involved, and he seems to be dissatisfied with life in general. When it comes to Marcus’ church life, we see more of the same as Ben’s Bible remains inside the trunk of the vehicle before and after service and he seems bored and disinterested during service.
While attempting to help his son with his math homework, Ben finds out UTOO videos get a lot of views and their creators can make money. Ben uploads a few to UTOO with minimal views, but things don’t take off until his son, Jack Marcus, edits and uploads Ben’s failed attempt to fix a toilet. The video goes viral and Ben is now known as ‘Selfie Dad’ as his UTOO career is on the rise. Just as art imitates life, Ben’s life is going great until it’s not. It’s not until things get dire that Ben confides in his co-worker Mickey, a young Christian who is studying to be a minister. Throughout the film Mickey has been encouraging Ben to read the Bible, and Ben might start listening and begin digging into the Word himself. The story comes with ups and downs as well temptations, made clear by a scene where Ben has to make a choice that could elevate his career while simultaneously destroying his family.
This film esteems active Biblical fatherhood and comes against passive fathering. Many men operate under the assumption that as long as they are physically in the house, they are doing their job. Being present in the house is important, but that’s baseline at best. Wives across the world could testify that their husbands may be present physically, they are not present emotionally or spiritually. This point is driven home in the first half hour of the film.
While ‘Selfie Dad’ approaches heavy topics, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film even takes jabs at the stereotype of lackluster Christian movies when Marcus’ wife, Jessica Marcus, tells her friend she doesn’t like Christian films when asked if she’s seen ‘The War Room.’ Sometimes, a film starring a comedian feels the need to force the humor but ‘Selfie Dad’ doesn’t suffer from this. The comedic timing doesn’t slow down the pace of the story or take away from the weight of the topics. This film made my family laugh, my wife cry, and I was convicted. We appreciated the scene where Ben’s decision to incorporate his faith into his videos with disastrous results. Too often Christians make it seem as if dedicating your life to Christ is the happy ending to a fairy tale and things get better overnight. This is not the case for a lot of Christians, salvation is the comma in the life of a Believer. We have much more living to do before we get to the end of the story. Some people are fine with content until faith is incorporated, this film touches on that and it makes the story more relatable.
The film, ‘Selfie Dad,’ is the movie every man calling himself the head of the household needs to see. This film will challenge the laziest man to be more than his current condition. Some may think reading the Bible and being a husband and father are unrelated, but I believe ‘Selfie Dad’ shows the error in that line of thinking. Films for the family and the soul have been in low supply, but ‘Selfie Dad’ is what the doctor ordered.0