Salvation Boulevard is a tongue-in-cheek look at a charismatic larger-than-life evangelical preacher, Pastor Dan Day, whose charm – and real estate developments – have captivated a small western American town. Part satire and part parable, the film is based on Larry Beinhart’s comic novel of the same name.
Carl (Greg Kinnear) is a former follower – not of Christ, but of the Grateful Dead – who has since become “found” in Dan’s Evangelical community, serving as one of the preacher’s great examples of spiritual and moral transformation. After a late night confrontation with a best-selling atheist professor (Ed Harris), Carl’s new belief system is upended, leaving Pastor Dan’s doughy henchman (Jim Gaffigan) to cover up an increasing series of “sinful acts.”
As much as he prefers to “go with the flow”, Carl finds himself on the run, torn between two women: Honey (Marisa Tomei), a security guard who still longs for the Deadhead days; and his militantly devout wife Gwen (Jennifer Connelly). While a major groundbreaking and a chastity ceremony hang in the balance, only time – and perhaps God – will tell if the right or righteous man will prevail.