Pondering Bruce Almighty
When Jim Carrey’s at his best, there’s going to be a lot of joking, a lot of laughing, and make no mistake.
This movie is a miracle.
In a time of Hollywood sci-fi remakes and comic book rehashing comes a movie walking the straight and narrow path.
A movie based in morality, a movie made for us, for our humanity, and for our edification.
Bruce Almighty encapsulates a multitude of theological facets, a condensed chicken noodle feeding of the holy spirit, and an unrelenting zealousness for the power in us.
Bruce, like us all, has a bad day.
But is it a bad day or just the day we pick to be bad?
Like all of us, Bruce thinks life is unfair, he serves no purpose, and he feels mediocre and in his delusional selfishness, his unbridaled sensitivity to what the world values thrusts him into unwanted parts — premeditated antagonistic revengeness.
Rather than listening to his girlfriend Grace (her name as well as position in his life, his purpose in life, and overall symbol in this film) he allots himself as judge, jury, plaintiff, and defendant.
In this warped reality, Bruce sees the world rather than accepting the word.
If God is all-powerful, then isn’t the world as it should be?
So even though he’s given signs, he is so fixated on the problem that he can’t see the solution (if you've heard it before, it’s from Patch Adams).
God, sick of his outbursts, grants him his wish — to be God.
In a symbolic and thematically ironic angle, Bruce refuses to pray cause he thinks with his free will, he is in control of his life.
However, his hatred for himself infests his mind until it becomes a mental sin.
Draining from him the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
It is in this state of his own creation that he recreates free will and degrades its power to selfishness.
In this arena, his selfishness rules his emotions and his life until he no longer has free will.
His will is free, but he has no free will.
And herein lies the irony of a man given free will that loses his free will to selfishness.
However, he realizes being God is more about caring and listening than ruling and governing.
His early attempts to use cosmic powers to satisfy his personal gains drizzles down to the truth — he loves Grace.
And through this idiom — God is love — Bruce Nolan grows from looking up for God, waiting for Jesus, and being non-productive to the title of this flick.
Therefore, this movie is not about God at all, but about the God in us all.
That latent power which dwells within, allowing us to choose to love others and in doing so, to love ourselves.
The last name change from Bruce Nolan to Bruce Almighty symbolizes his change from falsehood to truth, from selfishness to love, from sin to redemption.
And the spiritual benefits of love are two-fold and two-dimensional; through his love for Grace the girlfriend, he finds Grace the God attribute from the almighty.
Love’s dynamics shine throughout this film by God’s willingness to listen to Bruce Nolan’s complaints, Grace’s constant prayers for Bruce, and the entire city’s love for the news.
The city loves the news (physical) and the people love the good news (spiritual), but when Bruce takes god’s job and stops listening, the city declines and its citizens riot in the streets.
“The lottery is fixed, The lottery is fixed!”
They chant their hatred.
These might be the words they use, but what they’re really saying is we like the way the world has been because it was ordered and structured, now we hate the world because it’s not right, it’s not fair.
And what makes life fair?
And through our free will we find by not looking up, but by looking around we see God in everyone and everywhere.
And as long as we love in abundance, we see God in abundance.
God calls loving others manual labor and in this laboring, we find an insurmountable image of the truth.
To seek God is to love.
To know God is to love.
And if God is love, then by loving, we’re not waiting.
We’re doing manual labor.
And in love, we find freedom by being THE MIRACLE.