Friday, October 21, 2011

© Universal Studios

God and Bruce Nolan 
in Bruce Almighty (2003)

If you can ignore his on-screen fidgetiness and facial and body contortions, you'll find Jim Carrey highly entertaining. From his formidable repertoire of films, especially comedy, the 49-year old actor is particularly funny in Bruce Almighty  directed by Tom Shadyac in 2003. In this movie Bruce Nolan, his character, has everything — a job as a successful and popular television reporter and a girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) who loves him to no end    yet he is unhappy with his life. He frets and grumbles and blames God for everything that's going wrong in his life. Nothing is going wrong, of course; Nolan is just being selfish, like nearly every one of us. So God (Morgan Freeman) decides to do something about it. He summons Nolan to a starched-white top floor of a sprawling and unoccupied building and offers him every mortal's living dream - all his divine powers. The engaging conversation between God and Nolan is the pièce de résistance of this film. Here's a sampling...

God (Morgan Freeman) recalling Bruce Nolan's many rages against him: "The gloves are off, God." "God has taken my bird and my bush." "God is a mean kid with a magnifying glass." "Smite me, O Mighty Smiter." Now, I'm not big on blasphemy, but that last one made me laugh.

Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey): Who are you? 
God: I'm the one. The Divine Being. Alpha and Omega.
Bruce Nolan: Oh, I see where this is going.
God: Bruce...I'm God.
Bruce Nolan: Bingo! Yahtzee! Is that your final answer? Our survey says... God! Bing bing bing bing bing! Well, it was nice to meet you, God. Thank you for the Grand Canyon, and good
luck with the Apocalypse. Oh, and by the way, you SUCK!


God: I did the same thing to Gandhi, he didn't eat for three weeks! (Referring to the seven fingers on Nolan's right hand. Nolan subjects the Almighty to a divine test to find out if he really is God and makes him guess the fingers behind his back. The shocked expression on Nolan's face is out of this world.)

Bruce Nolan: How do you make so many people love you without affecting free will? 
God: Heh, welcome to my world, son. If you come up with an answer to that one, let me know. 

God: Parting your soup is not a miracle Bruce, it's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs, and still finds time to take her son to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don't realise is they have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.

God: You have all my powers. Use them any way you like. There are just two things you can't do: You can't tell anyone you're God. Believe me, you don't want that kind of attention. 
Bruce Nolan: And the other?
God: You can't mess with free will.
Bruce Nolan: Can I ask why?
God: Yes, you can! That's the beauty of it!

God: No matter how filthy something gets, you can always clean it right up.

Bruce Almighty is pure fun if you leave out the philosophy behind it. You know what I mean...the be-happy-with-what-you-have-and-what-you-are sort of thing. Just enjoy the film. It's not meant to be taken seriously unless you want to play God.


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