Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 2003. Spyglass Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Shady Acres Entertainment, Pit Bull Productions. Story by Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Screenplay by Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Steve Oedekerk. Cinematography by Dean Semler. Produced by Michael Bostick, James D. Brubaker, Jim Carrey, Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Tom Shadyac. Music by John Debney. Production Design by Linda DeScenna. Costume Design by Judy L. Ruskin. Film Editing by Scott Hill.
Jim Carrey continues to go the family-friendly (aka most financially lucrative) route with his latest comedy, and the results are hardly worthy of Liar Liar or The Grinch. He plays a down-on-his-luck reporter who loses his livelihood and his love on the same day and throws his anger at the man upstairs. Thinking that God needs to quit the job he apparantly isn’t doing so well at, Carrey gets to put his money where his mouth is when the Almighty himself (Morgan Freeman) decides to take a vacation from duty and gives all his powers to our protagonist. Now armed with the ability to do absolutely anything he wants, Carrey concentrates all his efforts on himself without ever sparing a care for anyone around him, until he realizes that all the mighty powers in the world can’t make the woman he loves (Jennifer Aniston) forgive his relationship missteps. The film tries to go all mawkishly sentimental in its last third, but bad dialogue and uneven direction make all the touchy-feely stuff seem cheap and badly acted, while the one-joke comedy bits aren’t really all that funny. Some more religious viewers might be hesitant to watch for fear of seeing God ridiculed, but in actual fact the film belittles believers more than anybody else, especially considering it reduces belief in a higher power to a collection of parlour tricks. Carrey looks pissed off that his attempts to try new things (The Truman Show, Man On The Moon, The Majestic) haven’t done well enough for him to be able to avoid doing this same old crap for cash again, while Aniston hardly gets to do anything in the stock ‘girlfriend’ role. Like most of Carrey’s other comedies, this one’s end credits are also populated by hilarious outtakes, which are of course the funniest part of any of his films, though the others never seemed to need them as much.