© 1977 Warner Bros. Pictures

Oh, God! (1977)

After watching Tootsie yesterday, I was thinking about how strange it must have been for both Teri Garr and Jessica Lange to both be nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for their performances in the same film, especially a film in which Dustin Hoffman plays both the lead male and female leads. It is surprising, though, that Lange took home the statuette. Although she looks great in the film, her character hardly does anything, whereas Garr’s performance is both endearing and heartbreaking, as she plays the acting student that didn’t pass the audition for the role that Hoffman’s character takes over to great acclaim. Anyway, Tootsie left me wanting to see a bit more Teri Garr, so I dug out Oh, God!, which I vaguely remember seeing on TV years and years ago, when it was still a relatively recent movie.

I have absolutely no religious beliefs or convictions, so I could only take a passive interest in this film which has god, played by George Burns, choose as his modern messenger a non-believing supermarket assistant manager (John Denver). But Oh, God! works as a good snapshot of suburban California in the ’70s, and there is some pretty biting satire of religion in America at the time, including a funny parody of Billy Graham played by Paul Sorvino. Teri Garr is good as the dismayed housewife who finds herself in the center of a media storm when her husband starts claiming to have talks with the almighty. Veteran actor Ralph Bellamy puts in an appearance as an attorney who cross examines god on the witness stand and director Carl Reiner, evidently a complete egomaniac, manages to makes not one but two cameos in his own film.

 

 

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