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What's it about

Review By Heather Wadowski
(JCO Senior Editor)

May 23, 2003

Obviously a review of a Jim Carrey movie on this site will be a bit biased. No matter what he does, to us Carreyholics Mr. Carrey can do no wrong. That being said, being the professional critic I am, I can separate the great Jim Carrey movies from the so-so ones even though I love them all. "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?" Best damn movie ever. "Man on the Moon?" Wonderful, underrated and pure genius on Carrey's behalf. "Liar Liar?" Hilarious. "Earth Girls Are Easy?" Funny, not his best work, but damn does he look good as a blonde!

Surprisingly though, with two of the above mentioned films directed by Tom Shadyac, one would think that Universal Pictures' "Bruce Almighty" would rank near the top of Jim Carrey's best movies ever. However, it doesn't. Although it is hilarious, parts of the movie are very reminiscent of both "Ace" and "Liar Liar" and Carrey looks B-E-A-Utiful (when you see the movie you'll get it), "Bruce Almighty" only ranks near the top of the middle of the Best Jim Carrey Movies list-- or the bottom of the top depending on how you look at it.

In "Bruce Almighty" Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a down on his luck news reporter who continuously blames God for his shortcomings. Sick and tired of always hearing him complain, God (played by Morgan Freeman) decides to take a much needed vacation and leaves his powers in Bruce's hands. Obviously Bruce goes crazy with his newfound power, making all of his dreams come true (like getting that promotion at work and toilet training his dog) while ignoring the prayers of others. Eventually though, Bruce learns that life isn't perfect no matter how hard you try to make it that way, and that despite feeling like he was always being picked on by God, God was actually in his corner the whole time.

Bruce Almighty
© Universal Pictures

At first, "Bruce Almighty" sounds like your typical Hollywood comedy aimed at both kids and adults, complete with the cheesy moral at the end of the story. And it is. Will Bruce abuse his powers? Of course! Will something so horribly wrong and teach him it's hard to be God? Naturally. But the one element that keeps "Bruce Almighty" from being some cornball comedy about faith, God and life is our favorite actor, Jim Carrey.

"Bruce Almighty" is definitely tailor fit to Carrey's needs and talents. Everything from the overdramatics of the situations to the catchy sayings (even the classic "alrighty then") is delivered in Steve Oedekerk, Mark O'Keefe and Steve Koren's script, giving Carrey a chance to let loose in ways fans haven't seen since "Me, Myself & Irene." And similar to "Liar Liar," "Bruce Almighty" is also tailor fit to show Carrey's dramatic side, but in small enough portions so that fans who can't get over the fact that a man who once talked out of his ass for laughs is now doing drama won't leave the theater in outrage. "Bruce Almighty" also marks a departure for Carrey, who steps back from being the center of attention for once to let his co-stars (and some great special effects) get their share of the laughs. This yet again keeps fans of the comedic Carrey happy since they are laughing, but also nods towards the dramatic Carrey fans since he's not the focus of the audience's attention.

Furthermore, "Bruce Almighty" marks the first time ("Dumb and Dumber" excluded) that Carrey is surrounded by funny co-stars. "Ace" was pretty much a solo effort, Renee Zellweger didn't exactly keep viewers in stitches during "Me, Myself and Irene" and Cameron Diaz (though stunning) wasn't exactly comic relief in "The Mask." And while Carrey obviously delivers the craziest punchlines in "Bruce Almighty," Morgan Freeman in his own dry wit way is actually quite funny as God, and the sex scene between Carrey and Jennifer Aniston is pure comedic gold. Even the supporting players steal their fair share of scenes away from Carrey, a task (as we all know) that isn't easy to do.

Still, "Bruce Almighty" is truly Carrey's picture from beginning to end, and fans will definitely experience a non-stop laugh fest from the opening credits to the blooper reel at the end (though, might I add, not NEARLY as funny a blooper reel as seen in "Liar Liar"). Nevertheless, something's missing that keeps "Bruce Almighty" from being as funny as "Liar Liar," and one can't really blame the cliché-ish lesson Bruce learns at the end as the movie's downfall since Lord knows "Liar Liar" has a moral, too. What that something is even I don't know, but given the fact that I plan on seeing "Bruce Almighty" again on open day I guess whatever is missing isn't that important. For even with its few downfalls (and a completely random scene that has viewers questioning if God is gay since as soon as Bruce gets his holy powers he suddenly becomes overly flamboyant) "Bruce" still ranks above several of Carrey's other features, all of which I love and adore no matter what other people say. To quote Bruce Almighty himself, "I saw it, and it was goooooood."

Movie Rating: B
Carrey Rating (performance and looks): A


Production Companies Shady Acres Entertainment
Pit Bull Productions
Universal Studios
Distributors Universal Studios
Spyglass Entertainment
Director Tom Shadyac
Writers Steve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Steve Oedekerk
Producers Tom Shadyac
Jim Carrey
James D. Brubaker
Michael Bostick
Executive Producers Roger Birnbaum
Gary Barber
Associate Producers Linda Fields-Hill
Janet Wattles
Composer John Debney
Cinematographer Dean Semler
Editor Scott Hill
Cast List Jim Carrey
Jennifer Aniston
Morgan Freeman
Philip Baker Hall
Catherine Bell
Lisa Ann Walter
Steve Carell
Nora Dunn
Eddie Jemison
Paul Satterfield
Mark Kiely
Sally Kirkland
Tony Bennett
Timothy Di Pri
Brian Tahash
Lou Felder
Lillian Adams
Christopher Darga
Jack Jozefson
Mark Adair-Rios
Enrique Almeida
Noel Gugliemi
Rolando Molina
Emilio Rivera
Albert P. Santos
Madeline Lovejoy
Jovan Allie
Koby Allie
Dan Desmond
Selma Stern
Alfred Dennis
Rina Fernandez
Robert Curtis Brown
Michael Brownlee
Ted Garcia
Maria Quiban
Shaun Robinson
Saida Pagan
Ken Rudulph
Gina St. John
Michael Villani
Christina Grandy
Jamison Yang
Bette Rae
Andrew Romero Hateley
Nick Huff
Greg Collins
Dougald Park
Susan Ware
John Rosenfeld
Mary Pat Gleason
Carey Scott
David A. Clemons
Bradley Stryker
Laura Carson
Michael Guarnera
Zachary Aaron Krebs
Ben Livingston
Nelson Mashita
Glen Yrigoyen
Dohn Norwood
Michael Olifiers
David Carrera
Howard S. Lefstein
Miah Won
Darcy Fowers
Laura-Shay Griffin
Darius Rose
Micayla Bowden
Samantha Boyarsky
Dylan Ferguson
Cubbie Kile
Emily Needham
Alex Villiers
Monique Daniels
Ara Celi
Jessica Leigh Mattson
Allison McCurdy
Patti O'Donnell
Janelle Pierzina
Annie Wersching
Ashley Yegan
Micah Williams
William Thomas Jr.
Tom Beyer
Max Grodénchik
Michael Bofshever
Colby French
Manny Suárez
Shashawnee Hall
Don Dowe
Vanna Salviati
P.J. Byrne
Carrie Quinn Dolin
Scott DeFoe
.....   Bruce Nolan
.....   Grace Connelly
.....   God
.....   Jack Baylor
.....   Susan Ortega
.....   Debbie
.....   Evan Baxter
.....   Ally Loman
.....   Bobby
.....   Dallas Coleman
.....   Fred Donohue
.....   Anita Mann
.....   Himself
.....   Bruce's Cameraman
.....   Bruce's Soundman
.....   Pete Fineman
.....   Mama Kowolski
.....   Vol Kowolski
.....   Homeless Man
.....   Hood
.....   Hood
.....   Hood
.....   Hood
.....   Hood
.....   Hood
.....   Zoe
.....   Martin
.....   Martin
.....   Bill, Ferry Owner
.....   Irene Dansfield
.....   Old Man
.....   Pretty Woman
.....   Phil Sidleman
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Newscaster
.....   Office Staffer
.....   Office Staffer
.....   Hazel
.....   Teenager
.....   Teenager
.....   Coach Tucker
.....   Stalled Car Guy
.....   Party Woman
.....   Business Man
.....   Heavyish Woman
.....   Partying Sports Guy
.....   Rioter
.....   College Rioter
.....   Nurse
.....   Riot Leader
.....   Paramedic
.....   Paramedic
.....   Doctor
.....   Trainer
.....   Police Training Center Officer
.....   Police Training Center Officer
.....   Phil's Cameraman
.....   Phil's Soundman
.....   Connie, Masseuse
.....   Attractive Woman at Restaurant
.....   Attractive Woman at Restaurant
.....   Tyler
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Kid
.....   Day Care Teacher
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Woman at Party
.....   Boy on Bike
.....   Technical Director
.....   Stage Manager
.....   Control Room Operator
.....   Control Room Operator
.....   Control Room Operator
.....   Control Room Operator
.....   Camera operator
.....   Camera operator
.....   Bobby's Aunt
.....   Panicked Newsroom Staffer
.....   Teleprompter Operator
.....   K-9 Tech

Movie Quotes

Bruce Nolan: B-E-A-utiful.

Bruce Nolan: Behind every great man... is a woman rolling her eyes.

Bruce Nolan: I'm Bruce Nolan with Eyewitness Nose... Eyewitness Nose... that's right!

Bruce Nolan: I am Bruce Almighty. My will be done.

Bruce Nolan: The only one around here not doing his job is you!

Bruce Nolan: Love me. Love me.
Grace Connelly: I did...

Bruce Nolan: There were so many. I just gave them all what they want.
God: Yeah. But since when does anyone have a clue about what they want?

Grace Connelly: Oh God!
Bruce Nolan: You can call me Bruce.

Bruce Nolan: Okay, prayer beads, "God, please give me a sign."

Bruce Nolan: So tell me, Mama. Why make Buffalo's biggest cookie?
Mama Kowolski: Well, man from health department say he find rat pellet in our pastry, but I say, 'No, is big chocolate sprinkle.' But he shut store down. So we clean up, make big cookie for to bring customers back.

Bruce Nolan: And thet's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm Bruce Nolan, Eyewitness News.

Bruce Nolan: Holy sh... cow.

Bruce Nolan: Hey, little anal-dwelling butt monkey. Time for you to go home, little buddy.


In Bruce We Trust?

How would you handle the most awesome responsibility in the universe?

He's got the power.

The guy next door just became the guy upstairs.

If you could be God for one week, what would you do?

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