Sunday, June 24, 2007

Once Again, the Critics Got It Wrong

I often wonder who these people are who write the reviews for the latest Hollywood movies. What kind of a life must they lead? Do they all wait to read that first review before they make up their mind about a film and their opinion of it? Why do they so often get it wrong?

This weekend I took my sons to see Evan Almighty. Now, I admit, I have never seen Bruce Almighty, and the reasons have been clear: the previews for the Jim Carrey film were crass in my opinion. The MPAA rating service agreed with me: “Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some crude humor.” I did not want to pay money to watch a movie make fun of the very core of my beliefs.

There was something different about the tone of the trailers for Evan Almighty, however. The situations were funny and the characters seemed genuine, in a sweet and innocent way. The rating was only PG for mild rude humor and some peril. So off we went, including my 7 year-old, and I’m here to tell you, I was not disappointed.

The movie was hilarious, one of the best comedy films I’ve seen in the last couple of years. And that crude humor? Bird poop and alpaca spit. Seriously! Even when Evan Baxter and his wife get into bed at night, they are modestly clothed, and here’s the clincher—Evan gets onto his knees and PRAYS! When’s the last time you saw that happen in a movie made in Hollywood?

Morgan Freeman is great as God. He’s funny and personable, and someone I’d want to know as my Father in Heaven. The lesson Evan learns about following God’s will is beautiful, and even the bad guy gets what he deserves in the end.

There was not a single moment that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I never worried about my youngest watching this movie with me. I will admit, one of my teenagers thought it was stupid (of course, he thinks mostly everything is stupid—it comes with the age), but then, he loves Jim Carrey and crude humor so this one didn’t meet his lower level comedy standard. It required the audience to THINK.

And as for Hollywood? My husband is working on a shoot there this weekend as I write this. He passed on my review to their director who said, “I’m so glad to know. I was looking for a movie I could take my children to without having to worry.” Go figure!

I finished reading my first book for the Summer Reading Thing, so here’s my review.

The Fudge Cupcake Murder - Joanna Fluke

Hannah Swenson, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery, once again finds herself in the middle of a mystery, and it’s not just trying to discover the secret ingredient in a fudge cupcake recipe for the cookbook she’s compiling (although readers do get that recipe along with several others in the chapter divides.) After teaching her evening cooking class, while taking out the trash, Hannah discovers the body of Sheriff Grant, a not-well-liked man who was running a campaign for re-election against Hannah’s brother-in-law. The last thing the sheriff had been doing before his death? Eating one of Hannah’s trial fudge cupcakes, and the icing is all over him.

This fifth book in the series will continue to delight (and probably make hungry) fans of cozy mysteries. I know I’ll go back to Lake Eden, Minnesota, for another stop at The Cookie Jar.


Julie Wright said...

I completely agree. Loved the movie. We took our kids to it this weekend and were very happy with it. Bruce Almighty wasn't too bad, but then . . . I saw the edited version with my Clearplay DVD player. It had some pretty poignant lessons in it and Morgan Freeman really does play a fabulous HEavenly Father.

Josi said...

My hubby took the kids to it and they all loved it. We like Bruce Almighty too, there are some crude parts that wouldn't have hurt in the least to have been left out, but overall it was good. It'd probably be perfect on a Clearplay. Thanks for the review, LuAnn--of the movie and the book.

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks for the review, LuAnn. It sounds great.

Stephanie said...

Glad to see you review Evan Almighty. We are always looking for something that we can have the whole family watch and there is so little out there. I think I may pick up the book too. I love cozy mysteries!