Letters to God is the latest project from Fireproof producer David Nixon and newcomer Patrick Doughtie. The film is inspired by a true story about a young boy fighting with cancer, who writes letters to God in an attempt to save his life and make his single-mother happy (oh yeah, it’s a cry-er). The film sounds interesting and definitely reeks tear-jerker, and as long as it’s well-written and well-acted, I might be able to handle it. Let’s see if this one did it’s job. We’ve gathered the good, the bad, and the in-between on Letters to God below:
- Inspired by a true story, “Letters to God” is an intimate, moving and often funny story about the galvanizing effect one child’s belief can have on his family, friends and community. [South Town Star]
- LETTERS TO GOD is an impressive movie. It is extremely well written. The dialogue is edgy and drives the story forward. The production quality is first rate. There is even great attention to the music, which is usually forgotten in low-budget productions. LETTERS TO GOD is the type of movie you want everyone to see, one of the most encouraging and inspiring movies in a long time. [Movie Guide]
- The movie is most successful when it deals with the day-to-day challenges facing Tyler, as when the boy — wearing a scarf to cover the hair loss caused by his chemotherapy — is shunned by classmates scared of coming into contact with the “cancer kid.” (“He has cancer, not cooties!” a friend asserts.) These moments could be instructive to kids — and adults — of all faiths. [Commercial Appeal]
- The tear-jerker is good-looking, but it’s a slow, bland and unemotional affair. The writing and some of the acting are so flat that even emotionally loaded situations fail to inspire waterworks. [Freep]
- Result might prove more distancing than bracing to nonbelievers: The God of “Letters” is one who punishes the young so as to teach the old a lesson. That’s not just clumsy dramaturgy; it’s bad theology. [Variety]
- But whatever flashes of conflict turn up in the four-writers-script are quickly rubbed off in some misguided attempt to render everything and everyone “nice. [Democrat and Chronicle]
- At various points, Brady, Ben and even Maddy serve as stand-ins for the skeptical viewer, and “Letters to God” is at its most effective when it deals directly with the challenge of not just finding faith but keeping it. Scenes of wise mentor figures praying aloud for others may prove discomfiting for some auds, but productively so; for the open-minded, they should register as honest, unabashed expressions of Christian devotion in practice. [Variety]
What do we think? If you’re in a good place and can handle it, it’s probably amazing. If you’re not up for crying your eyes out, go see Date Night.
Will you be watching Letters to God this weekend?