A theological romantic comedy drama with a courtroom showdown conclusion, The Man Who Sued God is a hard film to categorise. It's also a hard film not to like, since its so-absurd-it-could-be-true story about a man who decides to sue Him Upstairs for damages is nicely played by all concerned.
In his first comedy role on film, aging Scottish madman Billy Connolly plays Steve Myers, an ex-lawyer turned drop out loafer who bums around Australia on his fishing boat. After the boat's struck by a bolt of lightning and the insurance company reveals a tiny clause about 'Acts of God' hidden in the small print, Myers decides to take his case against the Lord all the way to court.
Either the Act of God clause is "some kind of giant all purpose lying mechanism" used by insurance agents to crush the little man, or it's what it says it is: an act for which God ought to be responsible. So, Myers decides to sue the Church, summoning representatives of every major faith. As the legal twists and turns kick in, the religious leaders will only be able to win the case if they can prove one thing: that God doesn't exist.
It may not sound like much but this sparky little comedy has a lot going for it, from Connolly's slapstick antics (trashing a Sushi restaurant while half cut) to the satirical comedy of the courtroom scenes where the church leaders prove to be just as devious as the insurance salesmen.
It's modest fare, but there's something rather sweet about the cranky relationship between Connolly and Judy Davis (as the journalist who decides to help him with his quest), which is well served by director Mark Joffe's willingness to take the little man versus the system theme with a huge pinch of salt.