"My mom would like this movie." This was my thoughts as I sat through the special screening of Evan Almighty last evening. (Understand, my mother didn't like the movie "Gone With the Wind" because of one line. "They don't need that kind of language", she would exhort.) It was fast-paced and fun. It was clean and, to my surprise, not degrading to the Bible. It was a little predictable at times and yet I laughed a lot more than I thought I might. According to IMBD.com the plot line goes something like this:
The last time we saw Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), he was being tormented by rival Bruce Nolan onscreen, live from their Buffalo TV station. But as time passed and Evan has made up with Bruce, he's gone onto bigger and better things. Newly elected to Washington D.C. as a congressman, Evan has left Buffalo, New York in pursuit of a greater calling. But that calling isn't serving in the illustrious ranks of America's politics, but being summoned by the Almighty himself (Morgan Freeman), who has handed Evan the task of building a new ark, much as Noah did before. With time passing by and his family belittled by Evan's newfound realization, Evan will have to do the work that God has given him in what promises to be an unusual adventure for a man who just wanted to serve his country, might actually be serving humanity.
Not being a professional movie reviewer, I thought the casting was well done and the subtle (and sometimes not to subtle) references to past movies and even the Bible were well done. The only uncomfortable part of the movie for me, being a church staff member, would have been while they were talking about praying. The actors seemed a little out of their element during this part of the movie. However, this in no way distracted from the rest of the experience. Wanda Sykes, "Rita", had a bunch of very laughable lines as did Jonah Hill, "Eugene Tananbaum".
Go to this comedy expecting a light-hearted and yet heartwarming film. If you like comedy, and especially visual comedy, Steve Carrol, "Evan Baxter" and his cohorts have done a great job. And in the end, the producers have made a moving film as well. I would highly recommend that you see Evan Almighty and maybe you will be encouraged.