Pete, an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1970s, attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to follow the path of the Lord, and not that of the Devil. Perhaps taking this message a bit too seriously, Pete decides it's his goal for the summer to help someone get into heaven; having been told that Catholicism is the only sure path to the kingdom of the Lord, Pete decides to convert a Jew to Catholicism in order to improve their standing in the afterlife. Hoping to find a likely candidate, Pete begins visiting a nearby synagogue, where he gets to know Rabbi Jacobson, who responds to Pete's barrage of questions with good humor. Pete also makes friends with the Rabbi's son, Danny, who is about the same age; when he learns that Danny is seriously ill, he decides Danny would be an excellent choice for conversion. When the priest at Pete's church informs Pete that all will be tested before they pass the... Written by
After watching the Project Greenlight series on HBO, I was really hoping that Pete Jones would pull it off and make an good movie. But the result of Ben Affleck & Matt Damon's media stunt is less the admirable. The problem is not with Pete's directing. Okay, it's rather bland, but it is not destructive to the film. What ruins it is Jones's childish screenplay. It's just so cliched it's almost unbearable. The dialogue is TV movie level, and Jones beats around the bush when it comes to the Religious stuff. He asks questions we've all heard before, and either doesn't answer them at all or provides a blow off answer. Also, not that I care (I'm an atheist), Jones seems to be a little too harsh on Jewish faith. Some scenes were borderline anti-semite. The child also actors were also terrible. As if the screenplay wasn't bad enough, we have to hear it repeated with no emotion by two blank faced kids. The film does however feature good performances from the rest of the cast. Aidan Quinn and Bonnie Hunt are given nothing of substance to work with, but like the pros they are, they handle what they have with grace and quality. Kevin Pollack's character was probably the only decently written character in the movie, and Jones was dead right to cast him. He is truly the exceptional element in this production. Some of his finest work.
If you watched the docu-series, I'd recomend checking this out just to see what the result is. But don't expect any more than some good supporting actors.
* / * * * *
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