By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'Christian Mingle' world premiere: Turlock's moment in the spotlight
"Christian Mingle" writer and director Corbin Bernsen, star Lacey Chabert, and co-stars Saidah Arrika Ekulona and Anna Anderson pose for a picture on Friday during the world premiere of the movie, held at Turlock's movie theater. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Celebrities, producers, city representatives, and numerous Turlock residents strolled down the red carpet Friday night for the world premiere of “Christian Mingle.”

The film’s writer and director Corbin Bernsen and star Lacey Chabert were on hand for the premiere and drew in an excited crowd of fans.

“This isn’t just the premiere in Turlock,” Bernsen told the opening night movie-goers. “This is the world premiere. It really was an amazing time here and we had such a fantastic response from the community. To be able to premiere it here means a lot.”

“Christian Mingle” is a romantic comedy about the transforming spiritual journey a woman undergoes when she turns to the Christian website in her search for Mr. Right. Her attempt to land her soul mate by overstating her faith and belief in God sends her on a path to explore her own soul.

“Corbin sent me the script and I was really touched by it,” Chabert said. “It has a very poignant message.”

Perhaps the real star of the movie, at least for locals, was the city of Turlock itself.

“I’m just ecstatic with the response we are getting,” said the film’s executive producer and Turlock resident Matt Swanson. “This is like a coming out party for Turlock. This is just the first for movies in Turlock.”

The movie offers plenty of snippets of Turlock, from Gywneth’s (Chabert’s character) strolls down Main Street, to her first date with Paul (played by Jonathan Patrick Moore) at Lisa’s Cookie Jar, to their date at Sushi Cuisine.

Along with the local scenery, plenty of residents got to take part in the film’s making, both in front and behind the camera. Turlock resident Laura Garcia was one among the thousands of individuals who showed up for an open casting call for extras. A short time later while shopping in Costco, she got a call on her cell phone from a number out of Hollywood.

“It was Corbin’s assistant and she said he wanted me in the movie,” Garcia said. “I couldn’t believe it. She said he specifically said 'I want the lady with the big brown eyes.’”

Garcia made her film debut playing a secretary and her one line was “Happy New Year Miss Hayden.”

“It was exciting,” Garcia said of seeing herself on the big screen. “It was kind of surreal.”

"Christian Mingle" is now playing at Regal Turlock Stadium 14 and Brendan Theater in Modesto, locally, and other select theaters across the country.