Bruce Almighty

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Bruce Almighty
A man with the world attached to his finger by a piece of rosary
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom Shadyac
Produced byTom Shadyac
Jim Carrey
James D. Brubaker
Michael Bostick
Steve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Screenplay bySteve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Steve Oedekerk
Story bySteve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
StarringJim Carrey
Morgan Freeman
Jennifer Aniston
Lisa Ann Walter
Philip Baker Hall
Steve Carrell
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byScott Hill
Production
  company
Spyglass Entertainment
Shady Acres Entertainment
Pit Bull Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
(Domestic)
Buena Vista International
Touchstone Pictures
(International)
Release date(s)
  • May 23, 2003 (2003-05-23)
Running time101 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$81 million[2]
Box office$484,592,874[2]
 
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Bruce Almighty
A man with the world attached to his finger by a piece of rosary
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom Shadyac
Produced byTom Shadyac
Jim Carrey
James D. Brubaker
Michael Bostick
Steve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Screenplay bySteve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
Steve Oedekerk
Story bySteve Koren
Mark O'Keefe
StarringJim Carrey
Morgan Freeman
Jennifer Aniston
Lisa Ann Walter
Philip Baker Hall
Steve Carrell
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byScott Hill
Production
  company
Spyglass Entertainment
Shady Acres Entertainment
Pit Bull Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
(Domestic)
Buena Vista International
Touchstone Pictures
(International)
Release date(s)
  • May 23, 2003 (2003-05-23)
Running time101 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$81 million[2]
Box office$484,592,874[2]

Bruce Almighty is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, and Steve Oedekerk, and starring Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan, a down-on-his-luck TV reporter who complains to God (Morgan Freeman) that he is not doing his job correctly, and is offered the chance to try being God himself for one week. This is Shadyac and Carrey's third collaboration after working together on Shadyac's first film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which also launched Carrey's career, and Liar Liar.

When released in American theaters in May 2003, it took the #1 spot at the box office, grossing $85.89 million - higher than the release of Pearl Harbor, making it the highest-rated Memorial Day weekend opening of any film in motion picture history (until the release of X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006).[3] The movie surprised media analysts when it beat The Matrix Reloaded after its first week of release. By the time it left theaters, it took in a United States domestic total of over $242 million and $484 million worldwide.[2]

Plot[edit]

Bruce Nolan is a television field reporter for Eyewitness News on WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York but desires to be the news anchorman. When he is passed over for promotion by his rival, Evan Baxter, he becomes furious, he aggresivley critisizes the station on his first live report (culminating with him calling them "fuckers"), leading to his dismissal from the station, followed by a series of misfortunes. Bruce complains to God that "He's the one that should be fired".

Bruce later receives a message on his pager, directing him to an empty warehouse where God meets him. God offers to give Bruce his powers to prove that he is doing the job correctly. God tells Bruce that he cannot tell others he has God's powers, nor can he use the powers to alter free will. Bruce is initially jubilant with the powers, using them for personal gain, such as by getting his job back and impressing his girlfriend Grace Connelly. Bruce also finds ways of using the powers to cause miraculous events to occur at otherwise mundane events that he covers, such as discovering Jimmy Hoffa's body, having his dog (who is not housebroken) use the toilet, or causing a meteor to harmlessly land near a cook-off, earning him the name "Mr. Exclusive" and earinig him his job back. Bruce then causes Evan to stutter and embarrass himself on-air, causing Evan to be fired in favor of Bruce as the new anchor.

During a dinner to celebrate him getting anchor with Grace (who thought it would be a proposal), Bruce continues to hear voices in his head. He later re-encounters God, who confronts Bruce on using his powers for personal gain and not helping people. He also explains that the voices are prayers, meant for God, that Bruce must deal with. Bruce creates a computerized email-like system to receive the prayers and respond, but finds that the influx is far too great for him to handle- even though God has stated that Bruce is only receiving prayers from the Buffalo area-, and sets the program to automatically answer every prayer Yes.

Bruce attends a party celebrating his promotion. When Grace arrives, she finds Bruce and his co-anchor Susan Ortega kissing, after she forcefully comes on to him, and quickly leaves. Bruce follows her, but she is heartbroken and will not listen to him. He tries to use his powers to convince her to stay but cannot influence her free will. As Bruce looks around, he realizes that the city has fallen into chaos due to his actions. Later, during his first night as anchor, power goes out due to the meteor, and parts of the city believe the Apocalypse is nearly upon Earth due to the meteor strikes, while a large number of people, all having prayed to win the multi-million dollar lottery and finding they all won reducing their prize to 17 dollars, have started rioting in the streets. Bruce returns to God, who explains that He can't solve all the problems and Bruce must figure out a way himself. Bruce then begins to solve his problems in life practically, such as helping a homeless man cross the street, training his dog normally, and allowing Evan to get his job back. Bruce returns to his computer system and goes about answering prayers as best he can. As he reads through them, he finds a prayer from Grace, wishing for Bruce's success and well-being. As he reads it, another prayer from Grace arrives, this one wishing not to be in love with Bruce anymore.

Bruce is stunned and walks alone on a highway, asking God to take back his powers and letting his fate be in his hands. Bruce is suddenly struck by a truck, and regains consciousness in a white void. God appears, and asks Bruce what he really wants; Bruce admits that he only wants to make sure Grace finds a man that would make her happy. God agrees, and Bruce finds himself in the hospital, shortly after being recovered- near miraculously- by the doctors. Grace arrives and the two rekindle their relationship (while they hug, Bruce muttering to God, "Now You're just showing off.", with Bruce and Grace later becoming engaged. After his recovery, Bruce returns to his field reporting but takes more pleasure in the simple stories.

Cast[edit]

Reception and controversy [edit]

The film received mixed reviews, with a score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 184 reviews[4] and a weighted average score of 46 out of 100 on Metacritic.[5] It received a B rating at Box Office Mojo.

Controversy[edit]

The film was banned in Egypt due to pressure from Muslims who objected to the portrayal of God as a visually ordinary man. Bans in both Malaysia and Egypt were eventually lifted after the Censorship Board gave it the "18PL" rating (suitable for adult viewers only for a combination of two or more of the given parental ratings).[6][7][8] Also, since God contacts Bruce using an actual phone number rather than a number in the standard fictional 555 telephone exchange, several people and groups sharing this number subsequently received hundreds of phone calls from people wanting to talk to God including a pastor from Wisconsin who would reply to the question "are you God" by replying "No, but I can take a message." The producers noted that the number (776-2323) was not in use in the area code (716, which was never specified on screen) in the film's story but did not check anywhere else. The home video and television versions changed it to the fictional 555.[9]

Sequels[edit]

On June 22, 2007, an independent sequel to Bruce Almighty entitled Evan Almighty was released, with Steve Carell reprising his role as Evan Baxter and Morgan Freeman returning to his role as God. Although Shadyac returned to direct the sequel, neither Carrey nor Aniston were involved with the film, though Carrey's character, Bruce, is mentioned in the film's teaser trailer. The sequel was not as well received as the predecessor, with a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of 37/100 on Metacritic.

On January 12, 2012, a direct sequel to Bruce Almighty was announced starring Jim Carrey.[10]

Soundtrack[edit]

Bruce Almighty: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by John Debney, Various Artists
ReleasedJune 3, 2003
GenreSoundtrack
LabelVarèse Sarabande
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars [11]

The soundtrack was released on June 3, 2003 by Varèse Sarabande. Tracks 8-13 are from the score composed by John Debney, performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony (conducted by Pete Anthony) with Brad Dechter and Sandy De Crescent.

Tracklist
  1. "One of Us" - Joan Osborne
  2. "God-Shaped-Hole" - Plumb
  3. "You're a God" - Vertical Horizon
  4. "The Power" - Snap!
  5. "A Little Less Conversation" - Elvis vs. JXL
  6. "The Rockafeller Skank" - Fatboy Slim
  7. "God Gave Me Everything" - Mick Jagger featuring Lenny Kravitz
  8. "AB Positive"
  9. "Walking on Water"
  10. "Bruce Meets God"
  11. "Bruce's Prayer"
  12. "Grace's Prayer"
  13. "Seventh at Seven"

References[edit]

External links[edit]