Monday, December 29, 2008
The Man Who Sued God
This film I've been meaning to see since it came out but hadn't gotten around to it until last night. The reason it took so long, I think, is because I had basically all but lost hope in films starring Billy Connolly. Not that he's not funny, quite the opposite in fact, I think he's an extremely funny comedian but no film that I had seen to date truly made his character even remotely as funny as the man himself (A few films had him play roles well and very well - A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Fido, Who Is Cletis Tout? - but just not any roles as funny as he is) and others, such as Beautiful Joe, seemed to believe that by just having him present they didn't need to worry about having a funny script because he was there, which obviously isn't the case when someone is acting out your script. You need to have a script written to match the comedian.
So I was hesitant to see The Man Who Sued God perhaps because I expected it to be really lame and have Billy's character be another waste of a great talent but fortunately enough, I was wrong - The Man Who Sued God makes perfect use of Billy and is (almost) as funny as his stand-up routine for at least 50% of the movie and I realized what made his character better in this film...
Billy was pissed off!
In other films he had been complaisant, quaint, quirky but in this he rants, swears, shouts and screams just as much as his better stand up routines therefor making this film a much more compelling view than most of his films - if you're looking for Billy himself to be funny that is.
The only flaw, as far as I can see, is that it's a relatively dull plot and extremely predictable. You know right from the start that the ending is going to be a good one and the only challenge we have is trying to work out how it's going to get there and what amusing obstacles might stand in the way of our angry hero. Call me "weird" if you must, but I think I just prefer watching a film that you don't know is going to end up good or bad and leaves you a little tense. Unfortunately I suppose most comedies don't really do that which is probably why I spend much more of my time watching horror films that are probably 50/50 in how often they have happy endings.
I also think the love story could have been completely dropped from the movie without doing it any harm. No-one needs to see Billy Connolly do a full on open-mouthed kiss with anyone at anytime and expect to keep their lunch.
The Man Who Sued God's NetFlix page - you can actually watch this online for no charge if you already have a NetFlix account if you go to that link before the 31st of December. Hurry!