Sitting back, enjoying the breeze and kvetching

Monday, June 25, 2007

Evan Almighty

Go see Evan Almighty

I read the Washington Post's scathing review Friday morning, then Friday evening, I went to see the movie.

It was great.

Ignore the bitter crankiness of the uber-intellectual critics.

No, this is no intellectual heavyweight. It's a feel-good family movie. A co-worker and I laughed through the whole flick, which was directed by Tom Shadyac.

The title, Evan Almighty, might lead you to think it's a sequel of Bruce Almighty, which starred Jim Carrey. It isn't, though it has some of the same zaniness. The new movie might be better titled "Evan Obeys the Almighty," for Evan, played by Steve Carrell, doesn't gain any supernatural powers.

Instead, Evan's chosen by the Almighty because, after being elected to Congress, his wife told Evan he should pray. Evan, pushed by his wife, prayed to change the world. Moral: beware what you pray!

In the great tradition of prophets and holy men, Evan is reluctant to do the weird stuff God (Morgan Freeman) tells him to do, such as build an ark in the lot next to his shiny new home. Evan, who's on the superficial side in the beginning of the movie, focuses a lot of attention on suits, vehicles, and houses, all to make the right impression as he begins a term in Congress.

God isn't one to be ignored, and the humor rolls as Evan tries to wiggle out of the new Noah gig. Life is changed for everyone, including Evan, his family, Congress, the nation and the world.

No, this movie is not an intellectual heavyweight. It's a good, funny movie with a good message, and without preachiness. Steve Carrell, of 40 Year Old Virgin movie fame and The Office (which I hate) on TV, is perfect in the part, without the frenetic over-the-topness of Jim Carrey.

Wanda Sykes as Evan's Congressional assistant is as funny and biting as always.

The movie has a great soundtrack. Don't get up and leave as the ending credits begin to roll, or you'll miss a very funny bit.