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Into Temptation 2009
Description: A call woman goes to a priest to confess a sin she hasn't committed yet: she plans to slay herself on her next birthday. Then she disappears and he goes looking for her, enlisting the support of an advertisement hoc congregation of troubled souls along the way. A storyline about forgiveness.
Released: 26 Apr 2009 Director: Patrick Coyle Writers: Patrick Coyle Actors: Jeremy Sisto, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Baumgartner, Bruce A. Young Genres: Drama
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Into Temptation Reviews:

It's difficult for me to categorize this movie; it's unlike most movies although it has elements of mystery, drama, comedy, tragedy and angst. The storyline revolves around a priest who is attempting to locate a confessor in the Minneapolis underworld while simultaneously confronting some of his private demons but it is not nearly as trite as that sounds, the entire presentation feels remarkably special and fresh. It does not show itself like a major studio treatment nor like the usual independent effort.All aspects of the film's production are convincing and very assured. While most of the plot's elements have been explored elsewhere, this particular combination of perfect screenplay and considerable talent is somewhat like being exposed to an entirely fresh cuisine - and a welcome change that is. It is clever, poignant, buoyant, gritty and witty but it is not your normal fare. Test it, you might like it.


I watched Into Temptation on Netflix's suggestion despite the film's stale-sounding plot outline, primarily because Jeremy Sisto had the lead role. To my surprise, the storyline turned out to be enveloping and the direction well-paced. Jeremy Sisto was, as expected, excellent: it's not simple to enjoy the role of one Catholic priest and still connect with an audience, what with folks bringing well-formed notions about all priests to the table. Rather than shoulder the burden of controversy, Sisto performs Father John Buerlein as a simple, flawed but honest guy. Coyle works in slight transgressions from Buerlein's past and show to support us suspend our cynicism about the church. It works.Great as Sisto was, Kristin Chenoweth's role was probably the more hard of the two. The storyline of her Linda Salerno required to be said almost exclusively through flashbacks, one confession and a series of ambiguous moments - not many lines to understand, allow alone connect with, a troubled and aging high-end prostitute who territories absolution high on her checklist of things to do before committing suicide. Chenoweth plain nails it, presents her pain in subtle methods and never tries to be a saint (Sisto's parish, not coincidentally, is a shrine to Mary Magdalene).Overall, there are some tiny plot imperfections that acting and direction redeem. It's an perfect film, well-worth the time and money.


This is a quietly charming movie filled with great performances and an honest dignity that doesn't flinch from reality, yet avoids wallowing in the sensational. It says a relatively wholesome tale about some sordid topics and proves you can do that without seeming corny or fake.John Buerlein (Jeremy Sisto) is a young Catholic priest who's brought a withered parish back to life. He's started up a homeless shelter and is a unbelievable counselor to his congregation, whether it's the unwed mother railing vs Church teachings about gender, the unemployed boy struggling with sense of self, the gay teen coming to terms with his identity or the neighborhood busybody who thinks confession is a time to complain about her husband. What John isn't nice at are the more public roles of the priest, particularly preaching and being a public figure in the community.One day in confession, John hears some startling words from a pretty girl (Kristin Chenoweth). She tells she's a prostitute and that her upcoming birthday will be her last…because she's going to slay herself. She slips away before John can do anything, but he can't stop thinking about her. This nice boy awkwardly plunges himself into the seedy underbelly of his city, searching for the girl to test and save her. The woman, called Linda, sets about tying up all the loose ends of her life. She cancels her newspaper subscription, tells goodbye to all her "clients" and has a last talk with the stepfather who started raping her when she was 12. Will John be able to search Linda without becoming contaminated by the tawdry globe she inhabits? Will he be able to tell anything to dent her determination toward suicide? I encourage you to rent this DVD and search out.I quite enjoyed Into Temptation. It's a rather reserved film, without any of the sturm and/or drang you might expect for this sort of storyline and neither vilifies the Catholic faith nor exploits the licentiousness of whoredom. This has all the makings of some cheap, melodramatic potboiler about a priest tormented into breaking his vows and the jezebel who comes between him and God, but Into Temptation is nothing like that. John Buerlein isn't tormented. He's a genuinely devout boy who believes in the life he's selected to lead. That doesn't mean he's some sort of goody two shoes, just that he tries to select what is right over what is wrong. This film is a tiny too racy to be for the entire family but in the method it directly confronts the conflicts of faith in an often faithless world, this movie is like something you would present to Catholic teens (or young folk of any denomination) so they should see how their religion can flow through their lives and not simply be something they do on Sundays.The storyline also draws some interesting parallels between the priest and the prostitute and not in an insulting or demeaning way. It makes you consider how they both live lonely lives because the things they do for others don't leave any room for themselves. The celibate priest and the hooker both hold the rest of the globe at a distance. Their "jobs" require it.There's some very great and restrained acting on display here. There are no histrionics to either Jeremy Sisto's or Kristin Chenoweth's work. There is no scenery chewing or explosions of emotion. They both define their characters by what they don't do and their resolute method of not doing it. Chenoweth lets Linda's silence say us about the unfathomable pain of a girl who's led a difficult life and is worn down to the nub. Sisto gives John a polite strength. He's a boy that may struggle to understand the right thing to do but once he does, he won't be turned away from doing it. Brian Baumgartner is unbelievable and funny as a fellow priest who's a mentor to John. Father Ralph is very much John's opposite. He's much more comfortable and capable at the public role of the priesthood, but he uses humor and sarcasm to hold himself separate from the messy aspects of humanity that John is brave enough to embrace.The only true complaint I should create about Into Temptation, outside of Chenoweth remaining clothed throughout the film, is that it's imbalanced. We receive all of John's story, including a bit where his teenage girlfriend comes back to city and makes a drunken pass at him. It's handled more respectfully than such a thing normally is in entertainment, but it's unnecessary. However, the film only gives us snippets of Linda's story. When she gives her confession at the start, we only hear a several lines and then the movie skips over the rest. John hears Linda's story, but the audience never gets anything but the barest of details. That continues throughout Into Temptation, where we only receive flashes of what Linda is doing. Chenoweth does an perfect job packing a lot of meaning into those brief scenes, which only increases the desire to see more. Instead of totally being a tale of two people, this is a film about John with Linda is relegated to a compelling helping character.If you spend any time looking around a video store, you'll search an terrible lot of films you've never heard of. Most of them suck and suck hard. You've probably never heard of Into Temptation. But it's worth watching.



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