The Franklins are Bible belt Christians: Frank's a lawyer, Betty's a homemaker focused on her children and her church, Brian is a senior who plays football, his younger sister Caroline is a cheerleader who thinks she's fat, prays often, and is impatient with God. When the family is in a car crash, all but Caroline are in a coma during which they see Jesus who removes their inhibitions and their piety. Awake and refreshed, Frank, Betty, and Brian discover their sexuality, their independence from Sunday worship and formal prayer, and the ability to talk frankly. Caroline - and her godmother, Betty's best friend, Peggy - are horrified. Can Caroline be saved, and the Franklins forgiven?Written by
It's always a pleasure to see characters in a movie who are wholly good-hearted and well-intentioned, even when they're surrounded by those who are neither. The film's moderately silly premise is that the conservative, religious Franklin family (mother, father, teen boy and girl) are involved in an accident wherein the parents and brother have a near-death experience during which they meet Jesus, a pleasant but somewhat exasperated soul who removes from them the burden of 'original sin.' When they return to their lives, many of their views and attitudes have changed, much to the consternation of the daughter, who didn't share the experience. The religious side is, I think, presented with a good balance, from the good (Jesus) to the starkly awful (those of his 'followers' who are obsessed with the sins of others and utterly oblivious to their own). It's a movie to make you think, give you a few good laughs along the way, and leave you with the pleasant feeling that the world just might be a nicer place than you think it is.
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