Bruce Almighty Tom Shadyac
Published May 01, 2003Jim Carrey has been trying to find the level of performance that satisfies both himself and his audience. Like most comedic actors, Carrey wanted to try his hand at more serious roles, but they didn't fly with his fans, who wanted the screwball antics. But Bruce Almighty might finally hit the right formula, with an equal balance between the comedic and dramatic that will please a greater percentage of film-goers.
Bruce Nolan is having a bad day that soon, through reflection, spirals into a bad life, in his mind. Though he has a loving girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) and a comfortable life, Bruce can't help but feel that God is mocking him after he loses a spot on the news desk at Eyewitness News in Buffalo. As bad luck starts piling up, Bruce questions why God isn't doing his job and taking care of the people that really need him? God (Morgan Freeman) gives Bruce his answer by giving him his responsibilities and powers while God takes a vacation.
Of course, Bruce uses his newly-bestowed power to make his own life better. He seeks revenge on those who made his life miserable, makes himself a better news anchor by creating natural disasters to cover and makes his girlfriend's breasts larger. After a week of having a blast, Bruce realises that the voices he's hearing in his head are the prayers of thousands of Buffalo residents seeking his help; it is then that Bruce learns first-hand that the duty of God isn't as simple as fixing lives in a matter of seconds and that people need to find miracles within themselves and through their actions.
Bruce Almighty is a good balance of touching sentimentality, slapstick comedy and the quest for love. The one strong factor that makes it work is that Carrey gets a more mature script here, one where a lot of his laughs come from what he says. He is a gifted comedic and dramatic actor and this role allows him to shine at both. Dare it be said that Bruce Almighty is a thought-provoking film? Not really, but it does give a good interpretation to the age-old question: why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? (Universal)