Dear God - *

This lightweight comedy is so deathly earnest it forgot the humor. Greg Kinnear is Tom Turner, a con artist, who once caught, is sentenced to work in a steady job for a year. He manages to find a position working in the Post Office’s dead letter office. The office is populated by all sorts of burnouts (including Tim Conway and Laurie Metcalf). Turner soon discovers the “loony bins”, where letters to martians, Elvis, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and God are placed. On a lark, he opens one of the God letters to discover a plea for help. Mistakenly, he answers that plea…then finds himself answering more and more of the letters, and the whole office does its best to make miracles happen. Unfortunately, in the process, someone forgot to let in the humor. The film does its best to be funny…its got a slew of eccentric characters (most of whom just don’t work, i.e. Laurie Metcalf’s ex-lawyer), zany situations, and plenty of post office props. Of the cast, only Tim Conway’s postal worker gets a few grins, but mostly he merely earns our pity (both his character and Tim). The gags just don’t work. At best, the film fills the screen with sappy goodness…but if the makers of Dear God had put half as much effort into the film as the “God Squad” puts into one of their on-screen miracles, they might have come up with something entertaining.

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