UK
25/11/2013 10:50 GMT

Rick Santorum's Christmas Movie Is Not Doing Great With The Critics, Or The Box Office

Rick Santorum, the failed Republican presidential candidate who once pronounced Hollywood "the devil's playground", has now failed at something else, Hollywood.

The social conservative who ran Christian-centered campaign for nomination, spelling out his virulent opposition to abortion and gay marriage, was one of the most hardline candidate for President, portraying eventual nominee Mitt Romney as too liberal.

Sick of politics, Santorum turned to a career in whimsy, via a new job at film studio EchoLight.

Starring Susan Boyle, The Christmas Candle, a film set in a fictional English village in 1890, was this week dismantled by critics and busted at the box office, grossing just £988,000.

The New York Daily News called it "as artless as the setup is muddled. It’s as if a little plastic holiday village came to life. Except that might be interesting.”

"Only the most diehard fans of holiday pablum will be able to swallow this Bible-banging hunk of whimsy,” said David Noh of Film Journal International.

The New York Post said: "This throwback, made-for-TV-style film takes the easy way out in a cheesy climax, but its resolute quaintness may appeal to the kind of viewers who regard electricity as disturbingly newfangled."

The Hollywood Reporter said "its hopelessly stodgy execution will test the patience of even the most enthusiastic audiences for faith-based films.

"Unlike the residents of Downton Abbey, the good people of Gladbury are wary of electricity. They would take comfort in knowing that, two centuries later, there would be an entire section devoted to candles at Bed Bath & Beyond," the Los Angeles Times sniped.

Boyle has a small role as the innkeeper's wife in the twee English village of Gladbury. The film currently has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film will open in 36 cinemas in the UK next week. Let's hope it's a success, or Rick Santorum might have to go back to the day job.