Viewed on 24 Jun 03   Not many will remember Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), but most will remember James Mason's immaculate portrayal of that same Mr Jordan in Heaven Can Wait (1978).   Since then, God genre films have mushroomed - every producer or director with a track record feels the need to make one.   Those less charitable might imply these producers and directors were attempting to overcompensate for borderline careers of sinful mediocrity by making a "good and righteous" film.    You know, something they can put on their resumes to show to Saint Peter when they, themselves reach the Pearly Gates.
This time around, it's Tom Shadyac as Producer/Director with his formulaic and regrettably facile contribution to the genre with BRUCE ALMIGHTY.   Shallow nice-guy Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) finds out the slow way that even with all the powers in the Universe at his fingertips, free will is inviolable, and he can't find true love or happiness unless he is a good boy.    Films don't get any more mawkish, or pandering to the emotions, or predictable than BRUCE ALMIGHTY.    Were I Satan, I would be preparing a special wing in Hell for the whole lot of these shallow directors and producers, these hypocrites who worship none other than the money they can make from a 'God film', and who are so transparently and unashamedly attempting to pave their way into Heaven - to cover all bets, as it were.   As Satan, I would make the gates to my new wing wide and deep, so as to catch these fraudulent souls as they come fast-balling down, despatched asunder by the Almighty Himself into my waiting brimstone dungeons...
The film BRUCE ALMIGHTY itself is saved from the raging infernos of Hell by the charming Jennifer Aniston (as Grace Connelly) and the REAL funny man Steve Carell (as Evan Baxter).   It remains a pity that Jim Carrey, a talented actor and comedian, insists on endlessly imitating Jerry Lewis.   But then, one can't interfere with free will, can one?
Enduring Line or Phrase:  "The only one around here not doing His job is You."
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