The Man Who Sued God is a fun romantic comedy starring Billy Connolly. He plays a fisherman who decides to sue God after his fishing boat is destroyed by a bolt of lightning and the insurance company refuse to pay out, declaring the accident an "act of god". This is an entertaining film with a good point to make and some genuinely funny moments.
Steve Myers (Connolly) used to be a lawyer but he got fed up with the rat race and packed it all in to become a fisherman. He lives in Australia, estranged from his wife but still in close contact with his daughter. He owns nothing in the world but his fishing boat and so when it is completely obliterated during a freak storm he is understandably distraught that the insurance company won´t pay out. He re-registers as a lawyer and files a suit which names God as the defendant.
The antics of Myers are soon picked up on by the press and he starts a love-hate relationship with a journalist called Anna Redmond (Julie Davis). After an initially awful introduction Myers soon grows on her and by the end of the movie they are firmly together. The romantic side of the film is terribly cliched and added little but Connolly is very watch able throughout and his natural charisma shines through.
Although the film is frivolous and slapstick in places it also has a serious point to make and I think the argument for scrapping the "act of god" clause, which really just allows insurance firms to shirk their duties, is well put. The film builds towards a courtroom showdown with the insurance firms, the church and the legal system all desperately trying to defeat Myers and point the finger of blame anywhere other than themselves. I loved the notion that the church couldn´t escape liability because they would have to deny the existence of god.
The direction is competent and the film moves along at a gentle pace lasting just over an hour and half. Connolly is very good and very much the star of the piece. Davis does a fine job as the slightly uptight reporter and the rest of the cast is decent if not very memorable. The script is very good in places and builds the comedy nicely from the situation. Rather than forcing gags into the piece situations develop and the comedy mostly derives from this. Naturally there is a bit of slapstick humour to make sure everyone goes away happy.
Connolly has had quite a mixed movie career but he seems completely at home in this and it does little to challenge his acting talents. He is charismatic and funny throughout and you naturally find yourself rooting for him. Fans of Connolly will certainly enjoy his performance and I think this film will appeal to a wide audience.
Overall this is an enjoyable comedy film which builds quite slowly but works hard to tell the story. It is not full of laughs but does feature some great scenes and is based on an excellent premise. Entertaining, fun and thought-provoking this Australian production certainly beats the hell out of the Hollywood brand of romantic comedy.