In the 90’s, HBO and Comedy Central seemed to be the two channels I’d run across movies I hadn’t rented but ended up loving. These movies would get repeated quite often, and anytime I’d run across them I’d watch them. Movies like Airheads, Daylight, and Dear God.
I’ve written about Airheads before, and despite being a big fan of 90’s disaster movies, I don’t know if I have much to say about Daylight, but Dear God popped into my head the other day and I thought I’d say a few words about it.
Dear God was a 1996 film directed by Garry Marshall (Beaches, The Princess Diaries) and starred Greg Kinnear and Laurie Metcalf.
Greg Kinnear, like Kevin Kline, is an actor who deserves more. I’ve never seen a performance of his that I haven’t enjoyed and he easy transitions from total jackass to guy you want to root for depending on the script. Sadly, the small comedies/romantic movies that he seemed to find success in aren’t much of a studio priority these days, so he’s slowly fallen into the shadows.
Dear God isn’t a great film. I’ve only watched it once since the 90’s, and while it has its moments, I did feel like the spark that made me love the film wasn’t quite there. It’s a simple story about a con man who is told by a judge he must find a job and hold it for a year to avoid a prison sentence. He ends up in the dead letters department of the mail room where he stumbles upon the bin where all the “Dear Santa” letters come. After reading some of the letters he’s decides to be help out someone in need, while also running a scam. In typical 90’s fashion, the rest of the employee’s get in on trying to make the world a bit better and hijinks ensue.
It’s a feel-good movie with very little conflict. No performances are going to stick with you and outside of the poster, not many of the images do either. But with that being said, it’s a quality film that really serves a purpose. It’s the type of movie, a person can turn on a Saturday afternoon and watch and be entertained or do the laundry and still keep up reasonably. Sadly, the way the entertainment industry is today, movies like this don’t get made, and movies like this also get lost to time. It’s not often you see it streaming and heck, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone talk about watching this movie.
Dear God has a slight Christmas slant to it, but I don’t know if I’d ever call it holiday film. The holiday is used a sort of backdrop and its less about Christmas and more about people trying to do some good in the world.