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Movie Review: Evan Almighty

Alternate Title: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Story: The arc of this story is easy to follow since the film is obviously being pitched as family entertainment. It is Biblical in theme without all of the smiting, debauchery, nakedness or drunkenness (which would have been better entertainment as far as I am concerned). It is directed by Tom Shadyac with a screenplay by Steve Oedekerk - the same twosome (that's a theme in the film as you well know) who brought you Bruce Almighty.

Evan Baxter trades in his news anchor job when he is elected to Congress with a campaign theme to Change the World. God decides to take him up on his campaign promise and asks Evan to build an Ark for an upcoming event.

The story plods along with nays ayers, Congressional thieves, sight gags and for me, an animal lover, the best part of all - a wonderful cast of marvelous animals.

This morality tale is sappy, predictable and bloated at times but the animals make up for all that is wanting. If you adore the animal kingdom as I do - go see this film or you can wait six months and find it on Cable or an airplane.

Acting: Steve Carell as Evan does not get to use his comic genius as in his TV show The Office. Perhaps speaking to God makes one serious. Morgan Freeman as God is perfect. Lauren Graham, Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, Jimmy Bennett, John Goodman and Wanda Sykes (who gets all of the good one-liners) round out the human cast. A breakout performance by a female baboon is worth noting. She was Oscar worthy.

Predilection: I adore animals.

Critters: Two of all kinds from chipmunks to elephants.

Blatant Product Placement: Animal Planet, Hummer and The Bible.

Soundtrack: Fun, fun, fun.

Visual Art: The digital mastery work with the animals is visually wonderful.

Theater Audience: Many more laughing adults than kids for the first show on a Saturday morning.

Weather: It was sunny and warm for most of the film.

Sappy Factor: 10

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Predictability Level: Over the top.

Tissue Usage: I used none but my movie buddy needed a tissue. She is a walking 10 on the sappy factor scale so I was not surprised by her need for a tissue.

Oscar Worthy: No - except for the baboon.

Big Screen or Rental: Either would do.

Length: 90 minutes