The Man Who Sued God

Starring: Billy Connolly, Judy Davis, Colin Friels, Wendy Hughes
Universal Pictures Video
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available now

Steve Myers is a lawyer turned fisherman whose boat is struck by lightening and sunk during a storm. Seriously out of pocket and with no livelihood, he turns to the insurance company. Although he insists his cover is comprehensive the company refuses to settle, citing the incident an Act of God. Knowing he can't win against the corporations, Myers decides to sue God instead. The church is forced to defend the case in court, whilst Myers represents himself and the countless others conned out of their rightful entitlement by a convenient interpretation of the law. The subject becomes a media circus, but when Anna Redmond, a reporter who helps him and with whom he falls in love, is revealed to be a long-time nuisance campaigner against insurance companies, he nearly loses the case. Nevertheless, Myers decides to go for a moral rather than true victory...

The quotes from various periodicals which adorn the cover of this video call this film "Hilarious", "A comic gem", and "Simply divine". The truth is it's none of these, but it is mildly amusing. The idea is sound, if a little far-fetched, and the cast is generally good.

The main part is played by that well-known stand-up comedian monster of mirth... Astro as Arthur the dog. Oh, and Billy Connelly's in it too. All joking aside, the dog is a superbly well-trained animal whose friendly and adventurous nature proves an ideal tool for warming the audience to the main players as quickly as possible.

Let's face it, nobody likes money-pinching bureaucrats, so the subject matter partly endears us to the film even though we realise it's both nonsense and morally valid.

The most apt phrase which springs to mind is quirky. There is no attempt to upset any ardent religious people; in fact, it's made plain by Connelly's character that he is not suing God in the literal sense, but a company whose representatives are the clergy. It is a device with which to point out that the church is being used by the insurance companies as a get-out clause; that they should be insulted by this defamation of character, because God is in effect being blamed for every personal disaster.

Ty Power

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