All right, it’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back. The plot is definitely a tricky one since it’s about God showing up and the film’s going to be poking some fun at it. I’d say it’s pretty harmless though and you never feel like the film is trying to be mean spirited about it. It’s not going out of its way to do anything crazy at the very least unlike certain other films that are coming out soon. It’s a pretty enjoyable film I’d say and the movie never really makes any critical mistakes.
The movie starts with an average day in Jerry’s life. He’s trying to make his supermarket the best one in the country and he’s doing rather well with it to be honest. One day things take a turn though when he is contacted by God for an interview. Jerry has not been given a message to spread the word and get people to believe again. God appears to Jerry as an older man who may not be very smart at times but does have all the powers that you would expect. For the purposes of the review we’ll call him George though just because even if that’s how he’s addressed I’d rather keep the word for when it’s about the genuine article. Can Jerry really convince the media that this is happening?
Jerry’s definitely very skeptical at first but who wouldn’t be? As a Christian myself I’d be extremely hard pressed to believe that he would appear and start talking to me out of the blue. Why? Because the Anti Christ will also be showing up soon and it’s already confirmed that he will have all kinds of supernatural abilities and will perform miracles. So, I don’t even know what would convince me. That’s part of the point though, it would have to be something utterly crazy that only God could think of. In the meanwhile if I see someone come back to life or other big things like that I’d first assume it’s the other guy to be honest. When God actually returns we’ll certainly know about it.
Back to the film, Jerry does go on board with this after a miracle or two and really tries his best. I was pleasantly surprised at how eager Jerry was to accomplish the mission. Usually the main character grumbles for what feels like the entire film before being bullied into action. Here Jerry takes quite a few losses but he always tries his best. If anything George appears quite ungrateful at times as you can tell that Jerry was giving this all. He put his career and life on the line to deliver the message. It may not have worked out perfectly but I don’t really see what else he can do.
The film has fun with this as Jerry goes just about everywhere to help out. At most he can just be a little slow on the uptake with the whole changing appearances thing. He probably could have handled that better instead of making himself look bad every time. At least Jerry never gave up though. His family wasn’t quite as supportive at times. The kids were definitely a little more on the annoying side. They should have had his back instead of literally backing off instead. Only Bobbie was there to help even if she wasn’t the best at it. She has good reason to think that he’s making a lot of this up though as Jerry doesn’t always do a good job of explaining his experiences. Bobbie definitely had to go through a lot the whole film so she gets more slack than the other characters.
The pacing is solid and the film just flies through. It feels like we got to accomplish a lot as well which is probably what helps the pacing. I enjoyed the round table discussion when Jerry met with the religious leaders. While one of them definitely ended up being corrupt the others felt fairly reasonable. Although as students of the scripture they should have remembered Matthew 4:7 ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” before giving Jerry the equivalent of a pop quiz. The whole point of faith is that you don’t know all of the answers so there’s no reason why God actually would do such a thing. He could, but that’s not the same thing as saying he would.
At the end of the day with the writing and script being solid, the only thing that could stop you from enjoying this film is if you simply dislike how the movie handles the premise. This certainly isn’t a serious look at what could happen if God were to return like this so the film has a lot of laughs. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t say it’s mean spirited though and does at least reference some interesting topics. I was fine with the film. My only complaint would be that they went too far in trying to portray God as not being very smart at all. I thought that was overblown, I understand making him appear to be a kind old man who’s very calm about everything. Flat out not being intelligent? You lost me there film.
Jerry asks a lot of questions that the film doesn’t give great answers to. One of them “Is Jesus your son?” is an easy one. Yes he is. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who dies for our sins and was resurrected after 3 days. The film quickly misdirects the answers so that God takes it as a figurative question so as not to offend any other religions, but you can’t have it both ways. Jesus is his one and only son when we’re talking in the literal and of course we all are Children of God when you talk about it in a meta sense. It’s important to make the distinction though so as not to undermine the importance of Jesus himself. I remember a long time ago I met someone who said they believed all religions and that can’t be true inherently because to believe one is not to believe the other. There’s no scenario where you can pick and choose.
As for the classic “Why do bad things happen?” well, that’s the struggle of life. If God solved everything for us then there would be no choice. It’s the same reason why he won’t suddenly show up in a bolt of lightning or anything like that. Anyone can believe in God if given absolute proof which defeats the entire purpose of Faith. You have to be able to believe in him without having any proof. The possibility that he is not real is what makes are faith legitimate. Everyone knows that the Sky is real because we can see it so it would be impossible for us to believe in the Sky. This is really the same concept when you think about it. It’s easy to feel like life is unfair and that some have it easier than others. Sure, to an extent that may be true but everyone faces their own personal trials and tribulations. Some may do a better job of hiding it than others, but I don’t believe it’s possible to go through life with no problems. God never gives you more than you can handle but nobody has a perfect life.
There are always a lot of good debates on that kind of subject and you could go back and forth for hours but that’s why it’s all so interesting. Also, Religion is different than having a personal relationship with God. That’s something the film gets right even though several characters seemingly aren’t able to wrap their heads around it in the movie. It’s very different to know about God vs knowing God intimately. Then there’s the third step of actually taking him into your heart. Put it this way, The Devil fits into the first two sections, he just loses out in the third. Anyone can know about God and there are those who believe in him but choose not to serve him. It’s the third category that really counts.
Finally, the film also talks about God not being comprehendable which is why he takes a human form. That’s something I can buy into. I don’t think it would be possible for a mere human to really be able to understand or see God. It’s why in the Bible people die or go blind if they even get a glimpse of him. He’s a being we can never fully grasp which is why he is God. Of course it’s well within his ability to help us comprehend him and I believe in Heaven he would take a form similar to Jesus or something we can’t yet understand but will as Angels. It’s all about waiting until then.
So I went off on a bit of a side tangent there, but while the film is entertaining I also think it’s good to straighten up some of the topics the movie tackles but doesn’t go into. At the end of the day it’s a film that’s not meant to be used for study so you should never take these things at face value. Do your own due diligence and it’ll pay off quite well. Whether you’re a Christian or not I believe you would be able to find this film entertaining. If you’re bothered by the premise and would rather skip it, there’s nothing wrong with that either. I don’t expect this movie would be for everyone. It does have a court case at the end though which I always tend to enjoy. I doubt the sequels would be quite as good but you never know. Maybe they would be legitimate follow-ups.