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Evan Almighty

September 19, 2015

EABuffalo newsman Evan Baxter is elected to Congress with the slogan, “Change the world.” He lucks into a huge house in a new Virginia suburb. His Capitol office is also fantastic, but there’s a catch: he’s tapped by the powerful Congressman Long to co-sponsor a bill to allow development in national parks. In steps God, who appears to a disbelieving Evan and gently commands him to build an ark. Tools and wood arrive in Evan’s yard, animal pairs follow, his beard and hair grow wildly, nomad’s clothes and a staff appear. Long grows impatient, Evan starts building, his family leaves him, reporters gather, and drought grips D.C. Still, Evan believes.

When God appears to Evan in the back of his car, Evan screams and God replies “Let it out, son. It’s the beginning of wisdom.” This is a reference to Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

When Evan gets the first shipment of wood, the label reads “Alpha and Omega Hardware”… a sign that the wood is from God. Revelation 1:11 in the King James Bible says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”

The phone number on the wood delivery trucks (800)-GO-4-WOOD is a working number to promote the movie!

When God talks to Joan in the restaurant, the name tag on his shirt reads “Al Mighty”.

The real animals were paired two-by-two, but many of them were actually same-sex couples! This was for safety: a bull elephant was considered a safety risk so two females were used. With giraffes, males can be friendly. Pairs of male giraffes were used.

In the scene when Evan is saying to God “then you have to understand this building an ark thing really isn’t part of my plans here…” God laughs. This is a reference to the Yiddish proverb, “Mann traoch, Gott läuch,” meaning “Man plans, God laughs.”

Evan’s Hummer has the license plate GEN 614, citing Genesis 6:14, which reads “Make thee an ark of timber planks: thou shalt make little rooms in the ark, and thou shalt pitch it within and without”.

 AAGGGHHHHH! AAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
God: [smiling] Let it out, son. It’s the beginning of wisdom.

[from trailer] Joan Baxter: You want to build a boat?
Evan Baxter: It might be something fun for the family. Go sailing on the lake. I don’t know.
[looking at his feet, under his breath]
Evan Baxter: Be great in case it floods or something…

Joan Baxter: Honey, maybe God didn’t mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of knowledge, or emotion, or awareness.
Evan Baxter: If that’s true, I am going to be so pissed.

[from trailer] Evan Baxter: [on the ark, addressing a big crowd] People! The flood is imminent!
[everyone looks around, bewildered, and up at the sunny sky. Evan addresses the heavens] Evan Baxter: Is it too much to ask for a LITTLE PRECIPITATION?

Ark Reporter: What makes you think God chose you?
Evan Baxter: He chose all of us.

God: Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

God: How do we change the world?
Evan Baxter: One single act of random kindness at a time.
God: [spoken while writing A-R-K on ground with a stick] One Act, of, Random, Kindness.

[Rita voices her disbelieve in Evan’s ark] Rita: Look, I go to church every Sunday.
[Evan doesn’t believe her] Rita: Every “other” Sunday.
[Evan still doesn’t believe her] Rita: I’ve been to church!

 

 

Evan Baxter: Do I know you?
God: Not as much as I’d like.

 

Evan:  (yelling to the crowd) People! The flood is imminent! Board the ark! Save yourselves.

Man from Crowd: Get down you fool!

Evan: (yelling to the crowd) Listen to me! The time has come!

Woman from Crowd: No Captain Ahab! Your time has come!

(the crowd laughs)

Man from Crowd: Yeah Baxter! The weather’s 70 and sunny with a chance of crazy!

(the crowd begins to laugh more, but then everyone hears rumbling)

Evan:  (yelling to the crowd) Do you hear that? The rains are upon us!

Evan’s son: Dad, I don’t think that’s the rains.

(A construction crew rumbles in with a big wrecking ball to destroy the ark. Congressman Long arrives and tries to talk Evan down from the boat. Evan doesn’t budge. Congressman Long orders the boat destroyed.)

Policeman: (in bullhorn) Evacuate immediately! You have three minutes!

(Evan’s wife Joan and their three kids approach Evan.)

Joan: Honey. We have to go. They’re going to destroy the boat.

Evan: No. It can’t end this way. (yelling to God) Is it too much to ask for a little precipitation?!!

Joan: Honey, maybe God didn’t mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of knowledge or emotion or awareness.

Evan: If that’s true, I am going to be so pissed!

Police Man: (still yelling in the bullhorn) Get off the boat now or you will be removed by force.

(Evan’s wife continues to try to reason with Evan, but the kids don’t budge.)

Evan’s oldest son: Dad, whatever you say, I’m with you.

Evan’s middle son: Yeah, me too.

Evan’s youngest son: Yeah, me too. But can we keep some of the animals? I like the alpaca. He spits.

Prioritising family and marriage – Evan’s wife and children regret taking the back seat to Evan’s vanity and his dreams of success and changing the world. God’s crazy Ark idea offers a chance for the family to cooperate and deepen their ties.

Prayer and relationship with God – Evan is self-reliant and embarrassed when his wife asks him what he would pray for at the start of his new career. ‘Do I know you?’ he asks God, who replies, ‘Not as well as I’d like.#

The character of God – Does God care about us and about his world, and about justice, compassion, the environment? Is he hidden and remote or is he relational? Does he want our friendship? Evan Almighty suggests he does and he is just as interested in Evan, an Everyman who needs an Ark Building for Dummies manual, as he is in Evan’s more able colleagues.

Leadership, ambition and the use and abuse of responsibility – Central character Evan is elected to Congress on a ticket to ‘change the world’, and is immediately coerced into backing a project designed to bring maximum wealth to a corrupt senior colleague while destroying public park land.

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