June 25, 2003 – If you can't picture Jim Carrey as God, then perhaps you should rush out right this minute and see "Bruce Almighty." Then, it's up to you.
Morgan Freeman has enough faith in Bruce Nolan (Carrey) to give him a chance at it in this unlikely comedy. Theologically, it leaves some room for doubt, but somehow comedically it works, according to many reviews.
Nolan is a forlorn, discontent television reporter in Buffalo, New York. He hates everything in his life, despite being popular and having an adoring girlfriend, Grace (Jennifer Aniston). (Critics say Aniston, of "Friends" fame, has made the transition from TV to the movies very nicely.)
Anyhow, Nolan, after what he feels is the worst day of his life where everything has gone wrong, begins raging at God about the injustice of it all. And God (Freeman) answers. Oh, my. And challenges Bruce to take on his job and see if he can do it any better.
Well, it's not really like when John Denver found God (George Burns) talking to him from behind the cabbages in the produce section of a supermarket in "Oh, God." But then, that's show business.
Freeman's God has more of a sporting nature than Burns's did. He sits back, sort of, and lets the drums roll, so to speak. As one critic remarked, "If a butterfly can flap its wings in Samoa (or was that South America?) and begin a chain of events leading to a tropical storm in the Caribbean, think what Carrey could do."
That seems to me giving Carrey the best of it, but then, that's show business. Carrey does manage to pull the moon closer to Earth to have a more romantic liaison with Grace. However, the move backfires, so to speak, causing a tidal wave in Japan of which Bruce is blissfully unaware. In response to the prayers of the world, he sends out a mass e-mail with the one word "yes," which immediately creates untold numbers of lottery winners, riots and general mayhem.
Fortunately, Bruce's run in the realm of the divine is limited to 24 hours.
When you stop to think of it, perhaps Carrey, hero of such intellectual epics as "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "Liar, Liar," would lend the comic touch needed to look down on a world run by Texas oilmen. But then, that's show business.
"Bruce Almighty" is rated PG for language, sexual content and some "crude humor." Goodness. It's an hour and 34 minutes long. It is playing at Sunny Isle Theaters.
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