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A little unsettling in spots but a very good movie
on January 24, 2015
Splendid version of Todd Burpo's book not completely true to the book, but an amazing experience nonetheless. Little Conner Corum is outstanding as Colton Burpo, displaying appealing charm and believability in his story of his visit to heaven while undergoing a serious surgery for a burst appendix. This kid is pure gold, really anchors the story and other actors. Although anyone who read the book knows the story, I found the movie itself to be a little stilted and the humor forced. The instances where Todd Burpo injures himself playing softball then collapses at the ambo with painful kidney stones back to back yet seemed too much tragedy to take in all at once, making one wince. Particularly awful were the film's attempts to force humor, as when Todd is in the house screaming with pain trying to pass kidney stones and Todds wife Sonya gallops off with Colton on her back, tossing over her shoulder to an amazed parishioner " Todd is passing a stone Colton and I are going to the park" !!!! Unbelievable! A good wife would have stayed with him. Also in the same scene when the parishioner is talking to Todd through a door as he is screaming in pain, " when will you be returning to the pulpit?" Todd screams in reply, prompting the man to say, "ok talk to you later Todd" !!!! Pain is NOT funny. One more instance, when daughter Cassie punches two boys in the nose who were razzing her about Colton, and asks Todd if she is going to be punished, he looks at her thoughtfully then says " heck no I'll teach you how not to hurt your knuckles next time" !!! Sonya then giving Cassie some weird thing putting her finger to her nose and back again to Cassie -- WHAT was THAT all about? Strange. And Todd and Sonya flat broke after Coltons surgery we see them worrying about money but there is never a resolution. Todd goes to the hospital and is asked to settle his account but can't do it. Did they go bankrupt? Did they win the lottery? Like I said, a good movie, however very unsettling in spots. But the scenes with Conner Corum as Colton are pure joy, he is comeplerely believable when telling people heaven is for real. The movie gives one such a feeling of blessed assurance. (no pun intended) It gives one a peace and joy anticipating this wonderful place. Hope I make it there, hope we all do.