(PG) Marco Giallini, Alessandro Gassman
Let’s get this out of the way, right from the start: God Willing is an Italian farce. So, yes, it has sub-titles and will only get a release at those cinemas where arty movies are showed. But before you race off to find anything but an Italian farce with sub-titles, you should know that this entertaining yarn projects one of the best Christian characters ever seen on screen.
Father Pietro (Alessandro Gassman; the Italian George Clooney) is a super-cool priest who actually practices what he preaches. Pietro is mentoring the son of arrogant, judgmental surgeon Tommaso (Marco Giallini). When his son declares he also wants to be a priest, assured atheist Tommaso is horrified. He plots silly schemes to prove Pietro isn’t worth listening to, yet Tommaso can’t dismiss the priest’s devout, hospitable conduct.
Providing enough laughs and insights to carry you along — even though its mid-section is flabby and floundering — God Willing’s strongest feature is its contrast between the God-serving priest and destructive Tommaso. By not painting Tommaso as an one-dimensional monster, writer-director Edoardo Maria Falcone allows Pietro’s Christian witness to be credible, commendable and powerful. He says and does things for Christ which cause Tommaso to confront his own views.
Ben McEachen is co-host of The Big Picture radio show and review service.
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