Projections - Movie Reviews

Oh God

Gracie Allen would turnover in her grave if she knew George Burns was playing God in the movie Oh God.  She would be even more surprised to find that he does a great job of being a logical, feeling and funny All Mighty.  The film is very comical and it is also a pretty good statement on religion in America today.

Bobby Landers, John Denver, is a simple, happy assistant store manager in a Los Angeles grocery store.  He has a wife and two children, a modest home and future with the grocery store chain.  One day, he receives a note saying he has been granted an interview with God; as any logical person would, he assumes it is a joke and disposes of the letter.  After the letter continues to reappear, the last time as a head of lettuce, Bobby goes for the interview.  On the twenty-seventh floor of a seventeen floor building he speaks with God through an intercom.  Later, he converses with God through his broken car radio.  But it's not until God appears in the bathroom of Bobby's home that he is convinced.  God looks like George Burns because, as God says, he "doesn't want to be too flashy".  At this point Bobby is still a non-believer but when God makes it rain in Southern California inside a car, and offers to make it lightning, Bobby sees the light and knows that God is in his AMC Pacer and he agrees to spread the word.

The word, however, is not easily received.  The religious editor of the Los Angeles Times doesn't buy the story and God wants to know why Bobby has not published the coming of God.  Bobby tries time and again and finally gets a small, one liner in a column on nuts.  Dinah Shore, seeing the column invites him to her show where he is as unconvincing as he has been with his wife (who wishes he would take a vacation) and his kids who won't even ride home from school with him.

While on the Dinah Show he describes God to a police sketchman and on national television appears a likeness of George Burns who is in fact God.  From there on there is more publicity and Bobby finds himself before a board of theologians who are disbelievers in his claims even though he has a courtesy card from God which simply states, "GOD".

God's message is simple, "You're ruining all my rivers, my air and the land.  You have the ability to care about each other - so stop fighting and get your act together."

Why won't God step in and clean things up himself?  Because, he put us here and we have the free will to make it or blow the whole thing, according to George Burns.

The theologians who challenge Bobby are stereotypes of present religious organizations.  The heavy is singled out and characterized as Billy Graham.  The film not only makes light of the Graham formula for salvation, but gives rough treatment to the money collecting phony attitude of Evangelists.  God tells Bobby to tell the character to stop picking up money and keep quiet.

Because George Burns is great, and because Carl Reiner is one of America's foremost comic writers, this most enjoyable movie will be a hit.

Oh God

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