Thursday, May 15, 2008
Bruce Almighty - 2003
When I led middle school Sunday School, we used movies to illustrate biblical lessons. This movie would have been a good one. I never "got" it until I watched it again, because I can be really slow. I initially was offended by the fact that he was living with his girlfriend and she was just waiting for him to propose to her, not realizing this was part of the very intelligent plot.
Bruce is selfish. The fact that he is living with his girlfriend and doesn't propose is really a part of his selfishness. When he changes and learns at the end of the film, he does make Grace his wife.
There are so many great biblical lessons. I already mentioned one. God picks a man who complains about his life, which is actually pretty good, to show him that it is actually good and make him grateful. God gives him unlimited power, makes him God over a limited area of the world for a season, and lets him wreak havoc. When he realizes that all he does is cause destruction, and when he realizes that he can't win the love of the woman he loves, he finally yields to the will of God.
God says that even with all His unlimited power, He can't interfere with man's free will, and He can't make man love Him. Interesting contrast made is that Bruce was able to incite passion in his girlfriend Grace but he wasn't able to force her to love him.
God says to Bruce that things he did while endowed with God's power were just magic, while there are things that people do that are real miracles. The single mother who works two jobs just to keep things together, and the teen who resists drugs to get an education, those are miracles. He says that we should be the miracle. The only problem with this is goes back to man being God again. It's about man doing the miracles. The emphasis needs to be on God the miracle worker and our faith in Him. People see the miracles described taking place in their lives because of putting their faith in God.
Jesus turning water to wine could be called magic too, but in fact it is an important thing Jesus did to build our faith in a loving God. Bruce could have used his limitless power for limitless good if he was a righteous as Jesus. But he wasn't and that's why God wouldn't endow him with all that power.
It's after this talk with God that Bruce chooses to let go of his God-power and live within the limits of a man. Even while he still has God's power, he chooses to start living within the limits of a man, and then he breaks down and asks God to take away his powers.
Carrey is great as usual in this film, with plenty of great camera angles on his face that crack me up.