Dear God

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

In this light-hearted comedy, late night talk show host Greg Kinnear plays Tom Tucker, a likable con artist who can't conceive of an honest day's work. But a judge tells him to get a decent job and he ends up working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Post Office. There, he decides that some of the letters addressed To God deserve an answer. So he proceeds to read and respond to them with gifts and a helping hand. Among other things, he sends money to a poor lady, saves the life of an old man, cleans the apartment of a busy mother, gives pets to senior citizens, and finds a horn for a talented black musician. He's joined by a motley crew of comical misfits he works with, including Tim Conway and Laurie Metcalf. Even though Tom turns out to be a good guy, the Post Office isn't at all happy and he ends up in court. But the city's postal workers and Tom's lady friend Gloria (Maria Pitillo) stand by him.The film tries hard to garner some laughs, but the comedy turns out to be rather mediocre and uninspired. Even so DEAR GOD has its funny moments.

The theme of helping others is certainly refreshing, and is a far cry from the many dark sadistic films being produced these days. Tom admits that at first he had the idea of taking some money out of the letters for himself, and he has some chances to do so, but decides against it. He also admits that he was doing the good deeds to impress Gloria, but comes to believe that he can really help people. Tom has a genuine change of heart and apparently plans to settle down with Gloria and her young son. In defending Tom at his court trial, his female attorney says that God lives in each of us and that God was speaking through Tom and his good deeds. At the same time, what Tom and his cohorts have done is illegal and, appropriately, they have to stand trial for their actions. True to form, the producers include a number of mild and moderate crudities and several obscenities in the dialogue. But there is no sexual content, nudity or excessive violence. Too bad producers continue to include foul language in films like this one, which could have been good family viewing.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Paramount Pictures, 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (13) times Mild 9, Moderate 4.

Obscene Language: Several (7) times (s-word 1, other 6)

Profanity: Two timesRegular 1 (G), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Once, Moderate (man struck in stomach)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Con man changes and helps others; favorable remarks about God

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Age eight and above

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