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Film / The R.M.

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The R.M. is a 2003 comedy film directed by Kurt Hale and produced by Halestorm Entertainment. The film follows Jared Phelps (Kirby Heyborne) as he returns to Provo after serving two years as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Evanston, Wyoming. Jared thinks he has everything worked out for him back home; his girlfriend waited for him and they've committed to marriage, he has a job ready back home, and he's going to apply to BYU. However, what actually happens doesn't quite meet his expectations.


The R.M. provides examples of:

  • Adam Westing: Jared comes home and finds his girlfriend is engaged to a guy named Kirby. Jared doesn't believe that Kirby is a real name, though he's played by an actor named Kirby Heyborne.
  • An Aesop: Brigham tells Jared that life always gets tougher before it gets easier.
  • All There in the Script: The script names Jared's hotel roommate Phil.
  • Amoral Attorney: Downplayed. Jared and Kori's lawyer has no problem making up a story for his clients.
  • Be Careful What You Say: Right after Phelps laments about how being dumped by his girlfriend "is like getting hit by a ton of bricks", his Tongan roommate Humu breaks the bunk bed and falls on him.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the movie, the mission president's wife tells Elder Phelps to stay faithful or she will hunt him down. Later, he dreams that she actually does hunt him down and shoot him.
  • The Cameo:
    • The boy band Jericho Road briefly appears in the prison scene.
    • Also includes celebrity cameos from Wally Joyner, Gary Crowton, Jimmy Chunga and Larry H. Miller.
  • Cue the Rain: Played for Laughs. After finishing his mission, Jared arrives at the front lawn of what he thinks is his home. The sprinklers turn on and his suitcase falls open.
  • "Dear John" Letter: Molly sent one to Elder Phelps, though it got lost in the mail.
  • Dumpster Dive: Implied. Jared loses a wedding ring while at a food court, and he's later seen covered in trash.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Jared finds Kori and some of his friends drunk, so Jared drives them home to help them avoid drinking and driving. A cop pulls them over when he sees a beer can thrown out the window, and he has back-up officers help him arrest everybody, and the incident gets coverage from local news. Justified in that the car was actually stolen
  • Advertisement:
  • Fictional Counterpart: Jared starts working as a telemarketer for the Filthy Filter, a profanity-filtering service similar to CleanFlicks.
  • Fish out of Water: Elder Phelps envisions his post-mission life as idyllic, though it turns out to be pretty chaotic.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Humu is a Tongan student who moves in with the Phelps family.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    Jared Phelps: Dad, this is just so out of my league, I'm just an RM.
    Brigham Phelps: You're not just an RM, you're an LDS RM, who's trained at the MTC, who became a DL, a ZL, and then an AP, who was promised long ago by his bishop through a PPI after BYC that someday he'd be the EQP. I smell GA!
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Jared's heartbeat can be heard when he's asked a question in court.
  • Jenny's Number: Jared's phone number on his engagement ring advertisement is 867-5309.
  • Language Fluency Denial: Humu says he speaks English better than Tongan, but he pretends he doesn't know English to avoid taking to Emma Phelps.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Colin and Julie Jensen say they've started their Utah weddings business, they launch into a commercial speaking to the camera, while Phelps tries to figure out who they're speaking to.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Halestorm Entertainment's previous film. Jared never goes through a Crisis of Faith (or at least, never doubts if his beliefs are true) and on the whole the tone, plot, and humor is sillier.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: During church, Relief Society is shown as neat and orderly, with the teacher preparing an elaborate lesson. Elders Quorum, on the other hand, is disorganized such that nobody really prepared a lesson.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Jared works in various jobs after his mission, including telemarketer for Filthy Filter, and waiter for the Book of Mormon Burger.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Jared dreams that a judge clears him of all charges except littering. Outside the courthouse, the mission president's wife shoots him for getting into trouble. Jared wakes up in his jail cell normally, averting Catapult Nightmare.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: In the credits, it says "No animals were harmed in the making of this film...except for that one dog...stupid dog."
  • Overly Long Name: Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (a.k.a Humu).
  • Poor Communication Kills: All of Elder Phelps and his family's communications are lost during the last month of his mission. Elder Phelps does not know that his family moved during that time, and his family thinks he'll be home a month after he actually arrives.
  • Record Needle Scratch: When Duey is singing "Puppy Love" by Paul Anka at Sariah's wedding, it cuts to the Thompsons having a romantic candlelit night. When Jared knocks on the door for home teaching, cue the record scratch.
  • Shout-Out: The singles dance is a Johnny Lingo luau.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Jared's hotel roommate mumbles in his sleep about salmon, toothpaste, and then he starts attacking his mattress.
  • Tempting Fate: When Sariah is trying to convince Jared he needs to get out and socialize by attending a singles ward dance, she says, "Besides, what could go wrong at a dance?" Subverted in that nothing that bad really happens at the dance.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Jared's best friend Kori Swenson has fallen away from the church and tries to teach him the ways of the world.