Why is it that I find the the Heaven-accepting, death-defying premise of Warren Beatty‘s Heaven Can Wait deeply moving (especially the final scene inside the L.A. Coliseum), but the idea of watching Randall Wallace‘s Heaven Is For Real (Sony, 4.16) completely repulsive? Not just because of the loony-visions aspect (i.e., Jesus riding on a rainbow-colored horse), but because Gregg Kinnear‘s way of speaking to his on-screen son, played by Connor Corum, is horribly cloying and patronizing. (Never talk down to young kids — I always spoke to mine as if they were 30.) And Corum’s acting is quite grating. The trailer clips are oppressive enough — I can’t imagine sitting through the entire 100 minutes.
The film is based on Todd Burpo‘s 2010 book “Heaven Is For Real,” about a near-death death experience by his four year-old son Colton in which he visited a realm that he believed was “heaven.” Colton apparently claimed “that he personally met Jesus riding a rainbow-colored horse and sat in Jesus’ lap, while the angels sang songs to him. He also says he saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at other times standing beside Jesus.” Just reading that makes me quite angry. Seeing it in a film would be torture. Despite a 50% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Heaven Is For Real is expected to do very well commercially.