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Film / The Singles Ward

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The Singles Ward is a 2002 romantic comedy film about Jonathan Jordan, a divorced member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and stand-up comedian, who eventually became less-active. Members of his singles wardnote  try to reactivate him, but Jonathan resists their efforts. However, he suddenly becomes interested in attending church when he meets a young woman named Cammie at a ward dance.

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The sequel to this film, The Singles 2nd Ward, was released in 2007.


The Singles Ward provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Sarah has a big crush on Jonathan, inviting him to the ward dance and holding him close.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The character who cries while reading the book Charly is played by Jeremy Elliott, who also played the lead male character in the 2002 film adaptation.
    • Jonathan's neighbor declines an invitation to watch God's Army, citing an inappropriate bathroom scene involving a missionary. The neighbor is played by Richard Dutcher, who directed and produced that movie.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jonathan rents a bunch of R-rated movies, but the last one is an uncut version of Newsies.
  • Ashes to Crashes: Jonathan finds an urn of dog ashes at a Family Home Evening labeled "Our Beloved Peaches".
  • Aside Glance: Jonathan winks at the camera during his Falling-in-Love Montage with Cammie.
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  • Between My Legs: The shot used between Jonathan's legs when his ex-wife leaves him.
  • Book-Ends: At the beginning we see someone doing some scrapbooking, and during the credits we see the final product.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: DeVerl's movie-watching partner.
  • The Cameo:
    • The baseball player Wally Joyner appears as Brother Angel at the break-the-fastnote  meal.
    • The basketball player Shawn Bradley appears as a car mechanic. He's so tall that his feet poke out the back of the car when he's working under the hood.
    • The football player Steve Young is Brother Niner, who gives the lesson at a Family Home Evening.
    • BYU football coach LaVell Edwards plays mini-golf while Jonathan and Cammie are waiting to putt.
  • Character Development: Jonathan rebels from the Church because he feels like he doesn't fit in and he always just did what the Church expected of him. Cammie teaches him that it's actually about making the right choice for himself.
  • Converting for Love:
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    • Subverted. Jonathan convinces Michelle to join the Church before they get married, but she doesn't believe it's true so they divorce.
    • Not necessarily a conversion, but Jonathan does start going to church again because he's interested in dating Cammie.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Cammie's reaction to Jonathan's stand-up routine where he jokes about Mormonism. Later she tells him it isn't funny because it isn't just his job, it's his lifestyle.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Jonathan and Cammie get one after they play mini-golf.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Cammie gets a televised arrest for breaking into her own apartment, but Jonathan vouches for her so they let her go.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Parodied. When Cammie is arrested for breaking in to what turns out to be her own apartment, a plastic tub full of white powder is handed to the senior partner (played by a Morning Radio Personality), who takes a deep whiff, buries his finger in it, sticks the whole finger in his mouth, and pronounces it "Tide".
  • Foregone Conclusion: The opening sequence includes a black-and-white photograph of Jonathan and Cammie as a couple.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Jonathan regularly speaks to the audience. At one point his friends interrupt him and ask him who he's talking to. He tells them that he's practicing for his stand-up comedy routine.
  • Funny Background Event: While two young woman serving food at a dance discuss the man they'll marry, a couple behind them flirt and the girl rejects two of his attempts to kiss her.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Jonathan gets a large television set. "Oh my holy fudge, I can't wait to watch a movie on this bad boy."
  • Happy Flashback: Jonathan has a flashback of him getting the Aaronic priesthood, passing the sacrament, getting chased by a dog on his mission, and dating Cammie. The memories cause Jonathan to laugh and break into tears.
  • Helium Speech: Dallen and Hyrum use balloons to get this voice and sing "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree".
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Dallen wants Christine (who has red hair).
  • I Was Just Joking: Cammie doesn't like when Jonathan is "kidding". She retaliates by asking him out on a date, but says she's just kidding.
  • Jenny's Number: The phone number for the Autobahn Service Center is 867-5309.
  • Knocking on Heathens' Door: The members of the singles ward do this to Jonathan to try to convince him to join church activities.
  • Mini-Golf Episode: Jonathan and Cammie play mini-golf for a date.
  • Mood Dissonance: Dallen opens his mission call and learns he's going to Boise, Idaho. Jonathan and his other friends are unimpressed by this, but he's pretty excited.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie goes from Jonathan's stand-up routine to a very dramatic scene between him and Cammie.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The music keeps starting and stopping when Jonathan is trying to propose to Cammie Giles.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: In the credits, "No animals (or amphibians) were hurt in the making of this film."
  • Product Placement:
    • In Jonathan's apartment, there's Gandolfo's and Krispy Kreme products
    • Jonathan meets his date (Sarah) at a Hogi Yogi.
  • Race for Your Love: Jonathan quickly drives to the airport to propose to Cammie before she leaves on her mission.
  • Record Scratch: Happens when Jonathan is about to share an epiphany with the audience, but he's interrupted by his friends.
  • Rich Bitch: Christine's mother
  • Running Gag: Dallen gives his knowledge of Mormon folklore to Hyrum, who seems to believe it all.note 
  • Schedule Fanatic: Eldon schedules everything on his Franklin planner. The DVD even calls him "the organized one". By the end of the movie he gets a PalmPilot, and the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue says he invented a digital planner called Palmspring.
    • At one point Eldon asks Dallen if he has everything on his missionary list, and Eldon crosses something off on his planner. According to the DVD commentary, the joke was that Eldon had even scheduled asking this to Dallen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening scene is similar to the opening scene of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In the DVD commentary, the creators say they shot a scene where Jonathan looks at a Ferris Bueller poster before he starts talking to the camera.
    • During the ward dance, one of the guys compares a girl he met to Johnny Lingo's wife.
    • In the DVD commentary, the creators say the bassoon sound-effects are a reference to the LDS film The Phone Call, where one of the characters plays this instrument.
    • Jonathan mentions the urn scene from Meet the Parents before he does a similar thing to an urn of dog ashes.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Cammie and Jonathan get into an argument in the kitchen during movie night. Eldon walks in and is surprised to see them kissing.
  • Spiky Hair: Zak Aldridge has spiky hair.
  • Stealth Pun: The basketball player Shawn Bradley, who is known for being really really tall, has a cameo as a car mechanic. The camera pans from his feet poking out from behind the car to him working underneath the hood.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream can be heard when Jonathan is on the phone with Captain Tuttle from the fireman's fundraiser and he says they have to cancel the show because of a bungee-jumping Beetle (which turns out to be Zak's).
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Zak's tattoos paint him as a rebellious young adult, though in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue it's mentioned that he cleaned up his act and served in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Tear Jerker: In-Universe. Outside of a church dance, Jonathan sees a guy crying while he's reading the novel Charly by Jack Weyland.
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: One of the guys after a Family Home Evening lesson on the twelve tribes of Israel: "So, uh, what's your tribe?"note 
  • That's All, Folks!: One is included in the DVD after the credits play. This is also a Shout-Out to the final scene of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
    Jonathan: Okay that it, there's nothing left. Turn it off. Go home. Oh you're home. Stay.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: "While the characters and events depicted in this photoplay may seem real, they are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, livng or dead, is purely coincidental."
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Jonathan feels like he doesn't belong in the Church, but he learns that he should be doing what's right because it's his choice, not because it's what's expected.
  • Vanity License Plate: Zak's car has "BN-G BTL" (bungee Beetle).
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Jonathan rushes to the airport and proposes to Cammie just before she leaves goes on her mission.
  • Weddings for Everyone: Pretty much every major character is shown married by the end or in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. However it isn't mentioned if Zak or Dallen got married (though both are covered in the sequel).
  • What Does This Button Do?: Happens when Jonathan's roommates are watching God's Army.
    Dallen: What does this button do?
    Eldon: Which one?
    Dallen: The one with the nuclear symbol on it.
    (Hyrum presses the button, causing a red light to flash and a siren goes off)
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue explains what happens to Zak, Stacie, Eldon, Dallen, Hyrum, DeVerl, Jonathan, and Cammie.
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