“I took this form because if I showed myself to you as I am, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend me.”
A humble supermarket manager (John Denver) is visited by God (George Burns) in the form of an older man, and told to spread the word about His hopes for mankind.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Donald Pleasence Films
- “No One Believes Me!”
- Religious Faith
This immensely popular ’70s comedy — which sparked two sequels and a current remake — is, unfortunately, a tedious bore. The central casting decision, considered a “coup” by many, is one problem (Burns-as-God simply doesn’t work), but the primary issue is the decidedly unfunny script, which is littered with throw-away lines like God in a courtroom stating, “So help me Me,” or God insisting that he doesn’t normally work miracles (“The last miracle I did was the 1969 Mets; before that, I think you have to go back to the Red Sea.”) Ha ha. Denver is, fortunately, both appealing and believable in the lead role, and Teri Garr turns in yet another compassionate performance as the wife of a man going slowly around the bend (a la Richard Dreyfuss in the same year’s Close Encounters) — but even their performances can’t save this clunker from sinking, and fast.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- John Denver as Jerry
- Teri Garr as Jerry’s compassionate wife
- Jerry on the Dinah Shore show explaining to a police sketch artist what God looks like
No; this well-meaning but strained comedy is only for certain tastes.