Movie review

Bruce Almighty
Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman,
Jennifer Aniston
Director : Tom Shadyac

Bruce AlmightyImagine your girlfriend is none other than Friends star Jennifer Aniston . . . pretty good, huh? Now imagine you're also God, The Lord, The Supreme Being. This is the predicament Jim Carrey is faced with in his new film Bruce Almighty; a story about a man who goes looking for God, and finds himself.
    Carrey plays the part of Bruce Nolan, an underachieving TV newsman who seems to be cursed with bad luck: His arrogant co-worker gets the lead stories while he reports about Buffalo's biggest cookie, his dog urinates all over the furniture and every morning he is faced with traffic tail backs the length of the Mississippi.
    Bruce thinks God is conspiring against him, so God (Morgan Freeman) arranges to meet Bruce in order to give him his job for a while to see how he handles it. There are only two rules Bruce must follow: The first is never to tell anyone else he is God, and the second is that he can't affect free will with his new-found heavenly powers. That doesn't mean he can't pull tricks such as making the traffic part for him as he drives through the rush hour, lifting a girl's skirt with a gust of wind . . . hey, if you had the power you'd probably make your girlfriend's boobs bigger wouldn't you?
    While in essence a story of what your average, under-the-weather Joe would do if he had supernatural powers, there's also responsibility in the form of the millions of prayers that people burden him with. Bruce finally settles on corresponding with his flock by email - another amusing transformation of the traditional view of God. He soon finds this is not the only downside to being The Lord.

Jim Carrey pulls off a first-class performance as Bruce, and Morgan Freeman is ideal in his role as God, with his grey beard and wise aura. Plaudits should also go to Jennifer Aniston, who plays a small but crucial role as Bruce's girlfriend, Grace Connelly.
    Bruce Almighty is easily on a par with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and walks all over Liar Liar, both also helmed by producer and director Tom Shadyac. There may be an abundance of fine comedy here, but Bruce Almighty isn't just a laugh-a-minute roller coaster ride. Particularly towards the end there are some sentimental ideas brought to the fore, such as Morgan Freeman's view of real miracles: "A young single mother who works two jobs and then finds the time to take her children to soccer practice, now that's a miracle." The inclusion of warm and fuzzy romantic and emotional elements actually helps the film in places, rather than hindering its comic aspects, which is rare in movies of this type.
    Bruce Almighty is an absolute must for anyone who is a fan of the rubber-faced genius Jim Carrey, and a must for anyone, full stop. It's the perfect balance between laugh out loud comedy, heartstring tugging romance, and the power of the human spirit; making this a sure fire hit that will appeal to practically everyone. In Bruce we trust.

:: Graham Drummond

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