Those who prefer their religion served with a side order of skepticism may find themselves feeling uncomfortable during Godspell -- at times, it's a lot like going to church. Conversely, those with an earnest view of faith will find joyous celebration in this giddy, straight-faced musical that has no place for irony. Unlike Jesus Christ Superstar, which is superior storytelling but inferior recitation of chapter and verse, Godspell floats along with little forward momentum, using only the lesson-intensive gospel of St. Matthew for its minimal plot. While not quite preachy, it's still arcane enough to lose viewers unfamiliar with the Bible. Godspell is full of color and a dear hippie mindset, but it is often too quirky for its own good, full of characters acting so goofy that it seems they've been brainwashed rather than willingly converted. Steadfastly unhip, the movie has to get by on its nonstop energy and enthusiasm, which is neither as contagious as it should be, nor satisfying enough to those looking for a satirical undercurrent. Directors David Greene and John-Michael Tebelak do get thematic resonance from making New York City into an additional character, but it remains on a surface level. The songs of Stephen Schwartz lack the incisiveness of those of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, but they have a totally different agenda and are equally rousing on their own terms. The hit singles ultimately provide the movie with its winning buoyancy, forcing even the cynics to indulge in unself-conscious toe-tapping.