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The Man Who Sued God (2001)

He’s taking his case to the very top

Directed by:

Mark Joffe

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Country: Australia

Steve Myers (Billy Connolly) is a man who ‘hates the way people use God as some sort of all-purpose lying mechanism’. When he says ‘people’, he really means insurance companies – particularly as one of them has just used their ‘act of God’ clause to weasel its way out of stumping up $150,000 for his lightning-zapped fishing boat.

So, as the title suggests, our Aussie-based Scot sets about taking God’s representatives on Earth – the Church – to court. It’s a fascinating premise, and by the time you’ve sat through the numerous court scenes involved you’ll more than likely find yourself wondering whether it could actually happen.

Unfortunately, it’s also far too lightweight a scenario to fill an entire feature-length production, which is why we’re left with a film so heavily peppered with forced romantic interludes, family-based sub-plots and unconvincing pseudo-whimsy. It’s also billed as a comedy though, light-hearted as the bulk of it is, there’s a serious scarcity of genuinely funny moments.

Connolly does a decent enough job, though playing a shaggy Weegie who uses the letter ‘F’ when he gets worked up isn’t exactly a major strain for him. You’ll see a more genuine version of the same persona, only funnier, in any of his stand-up routines.

This isn’t a bad film by any means. The acting’s passable, it makes for reasonable entertainment and it even manages to be thought-provoking. But it also suffers from an almost half-hearted approach to comedy and, most disappointingly of all an horrendously bad ending. If you’re curious about the overall premise or are a Connolly fan then by all means give it a whirl, but don’t pay to get into this one expecting to see anything that’ll change your life. The truth is, in a week’s time you probably won’t even remember seeing it.

It's Got: Some understandably disgruntled religious-types.

It Needs: ‘Big jobby!’ Doesn’t Billy ever say that anymore??

Alternatives:

Bruce Almighty, Dogma

Summary

A decent, if largely forgettable, attempt at getting one over on the insurance companies.

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