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The Man Who Sued God (2001)

  Directed by: Mark Joffe
Starring: Billy Connolly, Judy Davis
Links: The Man Who Sued God on the IMDb
Genre: Comedy
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2002 (nominee)

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Please re-cast this film" - a review by pearly

After his boat is destroyed by lightning, Steve (Billy Connolly) tries to get its worth back from his insurance company, but is told that he'll get nothing, because it was an "act of God". Steve isn't too happy with this decision, so, he decides to sue God (hence the name of the movie - makes sense, doesn't it?).

He then meets up (in "hilarious" circumstances) with Anna (Judy Davis), a journalist who takes a personal interest in Steve's story, and decides to help him out.

The Man Who Sued God raises some interesting ideas, and could well have been an interesting movie, except for one thing. It has Billy Connolly in it. Now, I don't particularly have anything against Mr Connolly. I don't think he's all that funny, but I didn't rule this movie out just because he's in it. But what his inclusion means is that the movie moves from the "thought-provoking concepts" category into the "get as many laughs in a minute as you can" category. And that's a bit of a shame really. I would have preferred for it to have gotten some more serious treatment.

Furthermore, the ending is just a huge let-down. Because of all these philosophical discussions that happen during the movie, you do sit there wondering what's going to happen - will God actually have to pay up? Should he have to? And if so, which of his "representatives" should actually be responsible? But what ends up happening is such a cop-out. (I'm not sure how it could have ended in a way that would have satisfied me, but it's not up to me to decide that, it's up to the script-writers to impress me, damnit!)

I also wonder what the fairly respectable Judy Davis is doing hanging out with Billy, doing slapstick. Trying to increase her range, perhaps?

I guess if you're interested in religious ideas, you can probably get some brain activity from seeing this. And if you're a Billy Connolly fan, you'll most certainly think it's simply brilliant. Otherwise, don't bother.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 18 Sep 2002

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Reader comments

  1. I had never heard of this film before yesterday when I found it at €10 euros when browsing through some shelves of DVD's in a big store in Paris. Now 10 euros is about the cost of a good sandwich so I said: 'why the hell not'. I have watched it today (day after purchase) and have had €100 euros of pleasure - the price of a fairly slap up meal. All the philosophical tripe and claptrap I've read in other reviews, on other sites makes me cringe. It's a good, entertaining and heart- warming film and that's all I'm looking for. And I'm as average 'man in the street' as you're likely to meet. I find that Australia makes the films I like, with no existential pretentions - other than in the script perhaps - purely to be looked at and laughed or cried with and at. I found the same lightheartedness combined with serious undertones in Priscilla - queen of the Desert - a little gem of a film. I never look at blockbusters any more since they are overpriced hype for the most part. In fact, at 58 years old and with many movies under my hat, I can honestly say that my favourite of all time is a very small budget, yet cult film: The Fabulous Baker Boys - and not for Michele Pheiffers red dress number, but for Jeff Bridges magnificently understated playing. For me, he's one of the world's great actors. Billy Connolly is likewise an excellent actor/comic, as shown in Still Crazy.

    So, keep making such little gems and I'll continue watching them - as long as I know of their existence.

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Peter Athey on Mon 02 May 2005 03:19 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.00 (1 rating)

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