Movie review: ‘Dial a Prayer’ isn’t a preach-to-the-choir faith-based film

Dial a PrayerNo leap of faith or sudden spiritual conversion brought Cora to the dial-a-prayer call center in suburban Detroit. A judge made that her community service sentence. Because Cora made a big mistake, one with religious implications.

She doesn’t “believe.” Her “How may I pray for you today?” isn’t sincere. She’s reading from a corporate playbook designed to nudge callers into subscribing or donating.

She watches the clock. And when it’s quitting time, she’s gotten her last pep talk from the preacher/boss (William H. Macy), her last coaching from the zealous author of the playbook (Aral Gribble). She can light a joint in the privacy of her car, maybe hit the liquor store on her way home, where her sad, wit’s-end mother (Glenne Headly) half-heartedly nags the 26 year-old, knowing it won’t do any good.

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