Last weekend we managed to get out to see Jim Carey’s latest comedy Bruce Almighty. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know that it involves a guy named Bruce ranting at God so much so that God comes down and offers to let Bruce take over for awhile seeing as he thinks he can do a better job and hilarity ensues.
Bruce is your average… Joe… and the first things he sets out to do with his newly gained divine powers is to grant himself a few custom-made miracles to get what he feels he deserves and extract a little revenge against those folks who have wronged him. This is the part of the movie that is easily the most fun as many of the things Bruce does are not only things that everyone has wished God would cause to happen on occasion, but if they did happen they would make life a lot more entertaining. Eventually Bruce gets around to trying to answer actual prayers from other people and finds that being God can be a tougher job than it looks.
Allow me to answer a question I’m sure I’m going to get at least twice in an email before you guys bother to send it in: Why would an atheist go see a movie about God that would presumably have a pro-religion message in it? First, I consider God and religion in general to be a fiction already so going to see a fictional movie about God isn’t all that different for me. Secondly, I wanted to see Jim Carey walking around with divine powers because it would probably be funny and it was. Thirdly, I wanted to see just what kind of message the movie ultimately has.
Surprisingly, that message isn’t necessarily all that pro-religion. Bruce himself, for all I could tell, wasn’t a particularly religious person beyond acknowledging a belief in God by ranting at him. He doesn’t attend church, doesn’t seem to own a lot of religious items and came across as someone who believed in God by default instead of because of some deep religious convictions. One of God’s final messages to Bruce near the end of the movie is that people should look inside themselves for solutions to their problems more so than looking up. Or in other words, people should try to make their own miracles instead of relying on God for them. The movie goes on to show Bruce trying to take that advice to heart. As someone who doesn’t believe in God, but is surrounded by lots of people who do, that’s still a message I wouldn’t mind seeing more believers adapt into their lives. In the end the film is fun, manages to avoid being preachy and had what I felt was a good message. I give it a thumbs up.