Dear God

1996, Movie, PG, 111 mins


Garry Marshall's fast-paced, Capra-esque comedy probably out-Capras Capra himself in sentimentality, but the terrific cast makes for a rarity: a feel good-comedy that's actually very funny. Tom Turner (Greg Kinnear) is a charismatic L.A. con man who's arrested for working two undercover cops and forced to take a legit job in the dead-letter department of the post office. His duties include sorting through undeliverable mail -- all those letters addressed to Santa Claus, Elvis and, most often, God. After accidentally sending off his first paycheck to the indigent writer of a "Dear God" letter, Tom finds himself playing the unlikely -- and surprisingly pleasant -- role of Good Samaritan. Next thing you know, he and his band of do-gooding coworkers (including Laurie Metcalf and Tim Conway) are making as many workaday miracles as they can manage. Marshall takes a big gamble, casting primarily from the ranks of television actors, but they're perfect for his brand of rapid-fire situation comedy. Kinnear has an easygoing charm, and proves to be a versatile physical comedian. But time and again the film is stolen by Metcalf, whose uncanny portrayal of a daft, workaholic lawyer -- a post office job is part of her recovery program -- is nothing short of brilliant. leave a comment

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