"Funny and Quirky, But Confused by Works"
What You Need To Know:
GETTING GRACE is very funny, winsome and poignant, but it doesn’t get the Grace of God. For example, the local Episcopal priest prays for Grace to experience the horror of reincarnation. The movie also contains some strong parapsychology and Spiritism elements, plus a humanist view of the value of man. There’s also a pro-euthanasia message. GETTING GRACE could have gone in a more positive direction if it had cut out these depressing, disappointing elements.
(Pa, CC, OO, H, FR, L, V, S, AA, D, MM) Light, eclectic worldview with some strong Christian elements, some strong parapsychology and Spiritism elements, as well as a humanist view of the value of man, a reincarnation suggestion, and euthanasia; six obscenities (some of which is rebuked) and seven profanities; children dying of cancer and euthanasia; dying teenage girl tries to set up her mother, which involves some mild titillating discussions of her mother’s body and mild discussions of romance, and some double entendres; no nudity; extreme alcohol abuse but rebuked, and character goes to AA; suggestion of drug use to deal with physical and psychological pain; and, messing with funeral home, replacing one girl’s coffin with another, bending spoons by using your mind, lying, and lots of humorous behavior.
GETTING GRACE is a quirky, heartrending and laugh-out-loud funny tragic comedy about young Grace, who’s in the terminal stages of cancer but changes the lives of those around her for the better. Regrettably, despite some strong Christian references, GETTING GRACE is spiritually, philosophically and psychologically all over the map.
After Grace and her mother have been told she has to join a support group at the hospital, Grace decides to go to Bill’s funeral home and find out what awaits her. Bill has had a life full of disaster and doesn’t share Grace’s sense of fun and humor. In fact, he just wants to be left alone. Grace decides Bill might be the father she’s never had. First, she gets Bill, the local Episcopal priest and a psychic spoon-bending bestselling author to come to dinner at her mother’s house and lets them draw straws about who can sleep over with her and her mother, both in their pajamas, so Grace can experience a normal family. Bill gets the short straw.
Slowly but surely, Bill starts to loosen up and warm up to Grace. He even considers the possibility of a relationship with Grace’s mother. However, Grace’s mother, Venus, escapes the pain of Grace’s condition through extreme alcoholism. When Bill discovers her drunk on the bathroom floor, he leaves. Bill had a tragic encounter with an alcoholic when he was a young man. Grace wins him back and convinces her mother to throw out all the alcohol and join AA.
A boy in the support group falls in love with Grace and is declared in remission. He proposes to Grace.
As the movie progresses, with a lot of humor and many poignant moments, Grace changes all those around her. Eventually, she is close to dying. The Episcopal priest, who seemed to be solid in his theology, now prays for her to be reincarnated contrary to the good news of the Bible in the Book of Hebrews 9:27. Her mother and Bill respect her wishes and remove her breathing apparatus, even though she’s still conscious, violating several other loving Biblical mandates.
GETTING GRACE is very funny, winsome and poignant, but the movie doesn’t get the Grace of God. We don’t have to return from the dead to tell people what it’s like on the other side, because Jesus did just that. We don’t have to be reincarnated for more pain and suffering in another life, but we die once to join Jesus at the Heavenly banquet. We don’t have to practice faith by trying to bend spoons because faith is a free gift from God that He gives us because He loves us so much that He paid all of our penalties, forgave all of our sins and saved us once and for all.
This movie could have gone in a positive direction if the euthanasia scene had been cut, and the minister’s prayer had been cut short. The various funny moments of trying to unite Grace’s mother with Bill have just enough humor not to be salacious. Grace actually shows people God’s Grace in a natural, unassuming way that suggests Grace is indeed a gift from God, but then heavy burden of works righteousness keep creeping into the story.
After growing up in the occult environment of my actor parents and even have produced a TV series about the paranormal for the NYC PBS Channel with the leading psychics of the 1970s, Jesus rescued me from self-improvement, self-realization and pursuing the fleeting temptations of egocentric, man-centered salvation. The good news of His love was a tremendous, tremendous relief.
It would have been great if GETTING GRACE had shown Grace searching and then discovering that grace is a free gift from Jesus Christ to give her a more abundant life now and in the world to come.