Get ready for your close-up, Turlock.
The trailer for the new Corbin Bernsen written-and-directed movie “Christian Mingle,” shot partially in Turlock last winter, debuted online this week. The Central Valley city gets heavy screen time in the 2.5-minute clip for the romantic comedy, which stars “Mean Girls” and “Party of Five” actress Lacey Chabert.
The movie, about a single woman who looks for love on the real-life faith-based dating site ChristianMingle.com despite not being religious, is set to debut in theaters in limited release in October. Turlock-based co-producer Michael Everett, who runs The Creation Lab studio, said post-production work on the film recently wrapped and the finished product should make area audiences very happy.
“When they see it, people will see a lot of Turlock,” he said. “There’s tons of Turlock in the movie and tons in the trailer.”
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The trailer shows Chabert looking for love, and finding a match, from the site as she sits and strolls around Turlock locations. Downtown businesses such as 10 EAST Kitchen & Tap House, Vintage Lounge, Lightly Used Books, Lisa’s Cookie Jar, Main Street Footers, Joe’s Clock & Watch Repair, Simply Blinged Boutique and Ritzy Ragz & Thingz all appear in the short clip.
Everett said Chabert’s character’s home and her office also were shot in Turlock. Other locations in the trailer, including two churches and an old mission building, were filmed in the Los Angeles area.
The production drew heavy interest throughout the area as almost 1,200 people auditioned for walk-on, cameo and extra roles in the movie late last year. Bernsen, star of “L.A. Law” and “Psych,” attended the tryouts at the end of November as hundreds and hundreds lined up for two nights in a row for a shot at being immortalized on screen. Everett estimates about 500 area extras made it into the film in crowd and background scenes when the cast and crew were in Turlock for two weeks in early December.
The movie also stars “Falcon Crest” star Morgan Fairchild, “Seinfeld” alum John O’Hurley, “An Officer and a Gentleman” actor David Keith and “Glee” guest star Stephen Tobolowsky. Former “L.A. Complex” regular Jonathan Patrick Moore plays Chabert’s love interest and was in Turlock with her filming several scenes.
“I think the movie is up there with about any romantic comedy you see. We got some big stars – O’Hurley, Tobolowsky, Morgan Fairchild. We have some really seasoned people in it and were lucky to get those guys,” Everett said. “I think people are going to like it. It’s a romantic comedy with a faith-based twist. It’s not meant to evangelize people. It just gets people thinking about their faith.”
Everett said premieres are planned for October in Turlock and Modesto theaters. He expects Bernsen and perhaps some of the film’s stars to make it back for the opening. The movie will debut Oct. 10 in limited release across the country in about 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta and Houston.
Along with Everett, Turlock businessman Matt Swanson worked on the film and serves as its executive producer.
During auditions and filming, Bernsen told The Bee how pleased he was with the Turlock locations and community response to the project. Everett said its success is a testament to the town.
“It’s exciting to have something big come through here,” said Everett, who also serves as the director of the Turlock Film Commission. “We did well, we did very well. Corbin loved it and said it was one of the best experiences going to a town outside of L.A. He said he’ll do another one here for sure. So to me, on a personal note, now I know it can work here and people here – everyone – has helped make it work. I have to give credit to our city, our city manager, our chamber of commerce, our mayor. For a first-time thing, I thought it couldn’t have gone much better.”