Evan Almighty

  • 2007-07-11
  • Tim Ochser
It's most likely that I would have thoroughly disliked "Evan Almigh-ty" but it just so happened that I was feverish when I saw it. And in my feverish, warped state of mind I found it peculiarly fascinating. It was so monumentally over-the-top, even for a comedy, that my warped brain could barely believe it. The story is simple enough. Evan Baxter (Steve Carrell) and his family move to Washington after he gets elected to Congress. Evan's a decent sort of guy in his way.

He just doesn't spend enough time with his family and he too easily gets talked into supporting bills that will destroy the environment. Then God (Morgan Freeman) appears to him and asks him to build an arc. At first Evan tries to ignore Him but He's pretty insistent. He sends huge quantities of gopher wood to his house and gives him a beard that can't be shaved off. And then there are all the animals turning up at his house, two by two.

Evan soon realizes that he has little choice but to do what He wants and sets about building the arc, although his family and fellow Congressmen think he's lost his mind. Naturally, a media circus and crowds of curious people turn up to see Evan making the giant arc. His estranged family start helping him after God disguises himself as a friendly waiter and says a few wise words to his skeptical wife. Of course, the question that everyone is asking is will the predicted Flood really come? Will it be a Flood of awareness? Or an old fashioned deluge of wrathful vengeance? Or what? Steve Carrell is such a fine comedian that he somehow saves "Evan Almighty" from what could have been an unbearable embarrassment.

The seemingly endless nuances of his face are a real joy to watch and he actually manages to lend the film a slight semblance of dignity. But for my feverish brain it wasn't the comedy 's which is really quite poor 's that was amusing. It was the unbelievable outrageousness of the whole idea. "Evan Almighty" tries to convey a serious message about our senseless destruction of the environment but it does so on the staggeringly stupid premise of God indirectly dabbling in American Congressional politics through His intermediary of Evan. Hollywood plots move in more and more mysterious ways these days.


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