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Jim Carrey is back to much the same role that he played in The Mask, a
guy who is trying to get ahead in the world but who seems to be plagued
bad luck. Even when he tries to help a homeless guy from being harassed by
bunch of hoodlums (and of course they have to be Mexican, obviously), his
good will towards his fellow man backfires. In that case, it wasn't too
to predict that he was about to have a handful of angry hoodlums, but I
that the movie suggests that things like that shouldn't be ignored. I'm
reminded of the episode of Michael Moore's brilliant The Awful Truth, when
they had a man lay down on the sidewalk and pretend to be dead and see who
would actually stop and make sure he was okay. The results were not very
promising, so it's nice to see someone in the movies setting a good
Jim Carrey plays the part of Bruce Nolan, the nice guy mentioned above whose entire life seems to be falling apart. Or even better, it seems to be breaking up by the blows of bad luck like an asteroid entering the atmosphere (a little metaphor that comes up when Bruce miraculously finds himself a gigantic news story later in the film). Bruce is nearly 40 years old and all he has to show for it is a position as a news reporter of the sort that reports on such exciting news as the local bakery that's seeking to bake the world's biggest cookie. He's desperate to obtain the job of head anchor at the TV station, but he loses his cool on live TV when he hears that the job went to his rival colleague. You have to love how they time the revelation of this news to him seconds before his first live report. Needless to say, he loses his temper on live TV in one of the funniest scenes of the entire film.
Morgan Freeman delivers a fantastic performance as the Man himself, displaying a God whose infinite wisdom is somewhat reflected through Freeman's massive talent as an actor. He is the kind of God who takes his job very seriously, but in such a way as to advise his followers (as well as the viewers of this movie) that there are times when you need to slow down and do some manual labor in life. I love his line that some of the happiest people in the world come home smelling to high heaven at the end of the day. There are a lot of people in the world (maybe more than our share in America) who are so absorbed by their money and their possessions and their jobs and everything that they completely lost touch with the natural side of themselves as humans.
One of the biggest strengths is that the movie is able to provide great advice to people in general about improving their lives, and this message is clear and acceptable regardless of the viewer's religion. I, for example, tend to reject organized religion in all forms and I see God and Satan to be metaphors for different aspects of nature and human psychology rather than actual figures who ever lived or continue to live. But despite the fact that I don't believe that God exists as an entity overseeing the universe or as a janitor dressed all in white who mops the floors of his downtown office in his spare time, I was able to appreciate the messages that were delivered in this movie.
Jim Carrey's movies display this fantastic evolution that ties them all together and makes the newer ones look even better just because you can see how far he's come. If you compare Bruce Almighty with movies like Ace Ventura (both of which I loved, by the way) or a lot of what he did before he got into film, it's amazing how far he's come. He has moved from cheesy TV comedy to cheesy comedic films to comedies that are truly intelligent and meaningful like this film as well as others like The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and The Majestic (easily one of his greatest films ever). Jim Carrey has unmistakably moved from the cheesy comedy of his past to become one of the most important comic actors working today.
Jennifer Aniston also once again provides an excellent addition to the movie (as she did in the side-splitting Office Space) as Bruce's girlfriend, who becomes increasingly exasperated by Bruce's growing stress about his life as well as his negligence to ask her to marry him. There is definitely some low-brow comedy in the film that doesn't really fit with the importance of the film's meaning or the quality of the delivery, such as the dog reading the newspaper on the toilet and the whole monkey scene, but it was definitely pretty nice to see Ace Ventura's friend Spike make a cameo appearance. As Stephen King very well knows, it's always nice to see familiar characters. It's almost like seeing family again.
Bruce is endowed with the powers of God for a given period of time so that he can understand life a bit better, and he says a lot about himself when he uses the powers only for his own purposes rather than to help all of the people who pray to him. The thing I love about this is that, like I said before, religion is absent from my life, but I was able to watch this and learn a lot about myself as well by thinking about what kinds of things I would have done had I been endowed with such powers. The movie allows us to learn vicariously this way, which empowers the message even more.
The scenes that involve the news station are easily the funniest in the entire film, such as the scene when Bruce loses his temper about the anchor position, the Jimmy Hoffa scene (who was conveniently buried with an original birth certificate and a complete set of dental records), the scene where Bruce's rival colleague is made to go nuts on camera, and my favorites, the ones at the beginning and the end involving the local bakery's cooking. The movie has plenty of time for Carrey to deliver some excellent jokes, such as when he says to God (who reveals that he's the janitor, the proprietor, the electrician, etc) that his Christmas parties must be real bashes, and to be careful about drinking, because on of him might need a ride home! I also loved the end when he says that behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. A little too true, and as Gallagher would add, behind every great man is also an amazed mother-in-law.
Bruce Almighty is one of the more memorable comedies to have come out for quite a while, and is probably the only directly religious that I can remember seeing that I am anxious to buy on DVD to add to my personal collection. It is a comedy written and performed in good taste, but with enough relatively low-brow humor to keep the kids entertained. This is a meaningful comedy for the whole family, which is becoming rarer and rarer these days. In a world that is about to be flogged with yet another American Pie film AND another Scary Movie (which are only scary because of their sheer barbarous idiocy), it's nice to see that there are still people making comedies worth watching. Don't miss this one.
Starring: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Anniston I was really
quite skeptical the first time I watched this movie. I mean, what a
conceptual NIGHTMARE. Jim Carrey playing God? Nothing is sacred
Well, this movie is hardly sacred, but it also is not sacrilegious, at least not to any great extent. Yes, Jim Carrey has the powers of God for a while, but he is not God. Confused? I'll give you the low down.
Jim Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a reporter who is down on his luck and feeling very unsuccessful with his life. He lives with his beautiful girlfriend, Grace (Anniston), and you can tell right off the bat that they love each other, but the relationship is on fairly shaky ground.
Then Bruce gets a shot at anchorman, only to have it underhandedly stolen by Evan Baxter. Obviously not please, Bruce shares his thoughts with the world through the television in a way which is comical and definitely worthy of getting him fired.
Much complaining and griping about God later, Bruce gets a page. After a while he gets tired of it calling, so he responds and goes to the Omni Presents building (heh). There he meets God (Freeman), who is the Boss, Electrician, and Janitor of the building. I found this highly amusing. God is the Boss, the Holy Spirit is the Electrician, and Jesus Christ is the Janitor. Think about it. Boss, obvious. Electrician, the guy who keeps everything running. Janitor, the guy who cleans up the mess that the world has left. BRILLIANT.
Anyway, Bruce is a little skeptical about having actually met God, but when God gives Bruce his powers and gives him a shot at playing God, he starts to believe a bit. Wonder why. Enter the flagrant abuse of powers for personal gain and to abuse the enemies.
Since this is Hollywood, Bruce obviously eventually smartens up, learns his lesson, and starts using his powers for the good of the world. In the end he cries out for God to take it away and prays that His will be done, not Bruce's.
Since it is Jim Carrey, the movie is quite amusing, and there are definitely some highly entertaining moments in it. The movie is not perfect theology, but for Hollywood, it is definitely a good attempt. Many statements in the film can be quite thought provoking and even challenging, and I applaud Tom Shadyac for his effort in this movie.
So, while far from perfect, definitely an amusing popcorn movie with a little bit of thought behind it.
Bottom Line: 3.5 out of 4 (worth a view or two)
Now either you like Mr Carrey's humour or you don't. Me, Myself and Irene
had audiences both walking out in droves and, on the other hand, cheering
and collapsing in puddles of mirth. Bruce Almighty is a bit more mainstream,
but you have been warned.
If you're not sure, watch the trailer. I saw the trailer three times and still laughed at the same gags when I saw the film. If you don't find the sight of a dog putting the seat down after using the loo funny, don't bother with the movie.
Carrey, a reporter stuck in a rut covering 'lighter news' berates God when the whole of his life seems to be going to pot. God takes up the challenge and asks Carrey if he can do better. Carrey gets into the swing of having all of God's powers by making his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston)'s breasts bigger, getting himself promoted, and answering everyone's prayers by single stroke computer commands.
This is not a highbrow movie or even that memorable, but it is very well made within it's very limited intent, provides almost continuous laughs to Carrey fans, and even any religious cheesiness is likely to be inoffensive to all but the most narrow-minded god-squadders and anti-god-squadders.
On the more thoughtful level, the film tempts us to speculate about Carrey's own career - stuck in his 'comedy' typecasting he has largely failed to make an impression as a serious actor even after winning two Golden Globes. His most accomplished 'straight' role, the Man on the Moon, is less well known that his comedy romps - or The Truman Show (on which the Academy heaped three nominations whilst bypassing Carrey).
Whether or not a person believes in God, most people have thought they
could make things better if they ran the world. Some would end world
hunger, some would make world peace, and other would just fix the problems
in their own lives. But few people would ever consider the burden and
awesome responsibility of the universe's most absolute power. How would
prayers be answered? How would you handle disasters and riots? What
you do if someone did not believe in you? `Bruce Almighty' presents a
of what would happen if a man's will were done.
Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a field reporter for the local Buffalo, NY
station. Tired of doing human-interest stories, being passed over for
promotions, and the overall course his life has taken, he calls out God
(Morgan Freeman) and claims he can make things better if he ran the world.
God hears Bruce's challenge and offers him the chance to prove it. The
Almighty departs for a vacation and endows Bruce with all his powers.
now has the opportunity to demonstrate what kind of God he can be. The
provisions are that Bruce cannot tell anyone he is God and he cannot
interfere with anyone's free will.
`Bruce Almighty' is wonderfully done by the talents of creative director
Tom Shadyac (Liar, Liar, Patch Adams) and the humorous story by
Steve Koren (Night at the `Roxbury) and television writer Mark O'Keefe
Show with David Letterman). Shadyac's direction plays a key role to this
visually comedic movie. Not solely relying on his performers, he also
implements several sight gags. Shadyac's eye for comedy comes through
he shows how Bruce organizes his prayer requests, how Bruce dispenses
justice, and even when Bruce gets a cup of coffee.
The script is also well written by the comedic duo of Koren and O'Keefe.
The movie is not only funny but it also looks at the seriousness of what
really means to be God. Koren and O'Keefe examine how would an average
handle the millions of daily prayer requests, would that person abuse his
power, and would he ever give up the job. Don't get me wrong, this is not
movie to would take your children to see to teach them religion. It is
filled with teen and adult humor that fans have come to expect from this
genre. Koren and O'Keefe not only manage to keep the theatre laughing but
give God a human face.
Jim Carrey gives another great performance as Bruce Nolan. Known for his
way out antics and facial expressions, Carrey combines those talents with
genuine acting ability that sells his performance. Carrey is very much
common man in his role as Bruce. He is frustrated with the morning
he wants more in life, and he wants God to make it happen. Most audiences
can identify with his aggravation because most have been where Bruce has
been. But Carrey is also a hilarious man-God when he rules the world. He
has fun with his powers while making sure the best things work out for
Carrey delivers just the right mix of comedy with a touch of the Spirit.
Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Aniston are also enjoyable in their roles as
and Bruce's girlfriend, Grace, respectively. Freeman plays God with a
humanistic yet sympathetic quality. He not only offers Bruce the chance
take his job, but also is ready to help him out when he runs into trouble
needs advice. Freeman's portrayal is also what one would expect out of
warm, endearing, and forgiving. Aniston's screen time is somewhat limited
in the film. Her performance of Grace is the typical stand-by-your-man
girlfriend. She loves Bruce and will stick with him no matter how much of
jerk he can be. The role is generic but Aniston plays well with what
dealt. Perhaps the scene-stealer of the film is the sidesplitting job
by the Daily Show's Steve Carell. Carell plays Bruce's main antagonist,
Evan Baxter. Baxter and Nolan's on-going feud sets the stage for very
on-air showdown in which Carell's performance will have audiences wiping
their eyes from laughter.
`Bruce Almighty' is no doubt entertaining and humorous. The movie has all
the combinations to make it a success and audiences looking for a good
will not be disappointed. While the movie may be more popular with the
crowd, adults may also enjoy the film as well. This is not a Jim Carrey
comedy where he talks from his rear but a comedy that also examines a
serious nature of life and show's Carrey has evolved as an actor. But let
us hope for Jim's case, God doth have a sense of humor.
I really do not know what people have against this film, but it's definitely
one of my favourites. It's not preachy, it's not anchored by it's moral, it
shouldn't be controversial. It's just God. Any possible God, no matter the
religion. And it's really funny.
Jim Carry plays Bruce Nolan, a TV reporter usually stuck on the lighter side of the news, desperate to prove himself (more or less TO himself) that he can be taken seriously and do a good job in an anchor job. This drive is what is slowly driving his beautiful girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston) away. When the final straws are executed, he's quick to not laugh, but yell in the face of God, who in turn gives Bruce his powers. Bruce then makes his life better for himself, until he's guilted into helping others, where he then continues to miss the point of his powers. Meanwhile, his constant excitement about his own life makes him more selfish, leaving his relationship on dangerous ground.
OK, that was kinda long. But as a plot, it works well. The step-by-step fashion in which we meet the challenges of being God is much better than clustering his problems together, and is able to hide itself fairly well.
As you probably know from hearing about this movie in the first place, Carrey's pitch-perfect acting stays in character (which, luckily enough, is him), and controls and gives atmosphere to the movie scene by scene. Whether they would admit it or not, the role was written or rewritten exclusively for Carrey. Without him, the humour would turn flat, as humour is half execution. And the humour is very good in the first place. But without Carrey, it would kinda feel like a It's a Wonderful Life wannabe.
Jennifer Aniston is great and, no matter what some may say, does not act like the only excuse for the third act. At least, you don't think that when you see her. She gives a heartfelt performance and makes you forget you're watching a movie, she and Carrey feel very much like a real couple.
The movie feels ggooooodd (see the movie to understand), has a very nice feeling, tackles the idea appropriately and better than expected and overall should never have been called slapped together just to save Carrey's career (which wasn't goin' anywhere.).
If you want a serious laugh pain, watch this movie, and the things Bruce inflicts on his fellow newscaster. The deleted scenes are priceless. I don't know why they didn't include them in the original movie. It can't be because of time, since the movie is only 101 minutes long. Morgan Freeman is a brilliant actor, who has been overlooked for too long. Jim Carrey needs meds!
Well, was Morgan Freeman any more unusual as God than George Burns? This film sure was better than that bore, "Oh, God". I was totally engrossed and LMAO all the way through. Carrey was perfect as the out of sorts anchorman wannabe, and Aniston carried off her part as the frustrated girlfriend in her usual well played performance. I, for one, don't consider her to be either ugly or untalented. I think my favorite scene was when Carrey opened up the file cabinet thinking it could never hold his life history. See if you can spot the file in the cabinet that holds the events of his bathroom humor: I was rolling over this one. Well written and even better played out, this comedy will go down as one of this funnyman's best.
Broad, amusing, well-intended comic fantasy about an ambitious reporter who hates his job and dreams of becoming a news anchor. After suffering from some hard luck, the reporter directs his anger toward God whom he feels is ignoring him completely, until he has an unexpected celestial encounter that endows him with divine powers and allows him to see the truth. Well-crafted comedy suffers from occasional lapses due to conventional story elements, but it's good-natured and consistently laugh-out loud funny, with some terrific sight gags, clever ideas, and a perfect part for Carrey who makes a welcomed return to the kind of silliness that made him a star. ***
How would you handle the most awesome responsibility in the universe?
Asks, the 2003-classic 'Bruce Almighty'. Some films have a certain feel
to them, and this is amongst those films.
Jim Carrey stars as Bruce, who often complains to the man above, of how unlucky and how unkind he's been to him. One fine day, the Almighty appears, played by Morgan Freeman. He gives his powers to him see if he can do a better job.
'Bruce Almighty' is a film that I've loved ever since it's release. I remember watching it in L.A., Universal City Walk. I was awed by it, it's such a touching & moving cinematic experience. It has it's share of hilarious moments, but its the penultimate 30-minutes, when the goings-on get serious, those are the portions that leave a strong impression. You weep in your seat and you exit the auditorium in glee.
Steve Oedekerk, Steve Koren & Mark O'Keefe's Screenplay is legendary. Tom Shadyac's execution to the genius Screenplay is completely justified. Dean Semler's Cinematography is super.
In the acting department, Jim Carrey proves his caliber, yet again. He becomes Bruce from scene A itself. He is the life of the show. Morgan Freeman as God, is wonderfully relaxed. Jennifer Aniston as Bruce's Lady-Love is remarkable. This truly ranks amongst her best performances! Steve Carell fumbles beautifully. Catherine Bell looks ravishing! Her performance is just right.
On the whole, One of the Finest Films of 2003. A film that not only entertains, but also leaves you enlightened. Two Big Thumbs Up!
As someone who lives near Buffalo, New York, this movie scored points
with me before I even saw it, since the story is based here. There are
even some bit parts with real-life news-TV anchor people from
Buffalo..and, for once, it doesn't knock the area. Hallelujah!
Theology-wise, puh-leeze!!! God is still made to look and think like humans...and, of course, be a bit on the liberal side. Being the lightweight comedy it is, it's nothing that should win any awards but it still is entertaining and is a pleasant way to kill 102 minutes.
There are some laugh-out-loud slapstick comedy scenes and, hopefully, audiences - from Christians to atheists.- got something out of this besides a few laughs, such as what prayer should really be all about. Kudos to the writers for at least getting that theology correct and giving a good message.
Overall, it's a good-hearted film that should offend very few.
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