Saturday morning, I was invited to see a preview of Sony Picture's Heaven is for Real.
The film, opening Easter weekend, is the true story of Colton Burpo, who at age four had a near-death experience that gave him visions of heaven. I was invited to view the film since, apparently, I am an "influencer" in the local Christian community (my ticket was free and I could have filled up at the concession stand but, given that it was 10am, opted not to!) I was not sure I'd like the film. I do not like a schmaltzy version of Christianity and do not think that theological issues can be wrapped up with a bow. I had a feeling that the movie would be emotionally manipulative and I hate feeling played.
I was pleasantly surprised.
The beginning of the film is a bit slow. I've seen Greg Kinnear, who plays Reverend Todd Burpo, in too many smooth and sophisticated roles (Sabrina anyone?) to entirely see him as a failing small town garage door installer and church leader. And I wanted to see more of Thomas Haden Church, who I've adored ever since Wings, and Margo Martindale, who is great in everything she does. The second half is sooo good, however. Margo Martindale is given a chance to use her acting chops and is amazing. And Connor Corum, who plays four year old Colton, is superb. Bring tissues. The movie asks a lot of tough questions -- Why does God let some people suffer more than others? Do non-believers go to Heaven? Does prayer change a situation's outcome? -- without providing pat answers. Any flaws the movie has in the first half are very much redeemed by the end. Which is kind of the way I think God works too.
After the film, I met with my girlfriend and her friends who were all at the screening for lunch. What a delight. We ate at The 3 Brewers, which is a chain from France. One of my dining mates who learned of my French-living year, pointed out that we had a view of la Fitness.
Yes, I know it's really L.A. Fitness, but this is my year of living french…
I had the moules frites and a brown beer (it was the chocolate tones that sold me). Yum!
The funniest thing - given that we are all Christian "influencers" - was that when we sat down at our large table, the sound system started to play Sympathy for the Devil. When we rose to leave, almost three hours later, the sound system started to play Royals. So we started with the devil and ended with the Lorde.
Saturday night was a hockey party and I met some lovely people.
Sunday, I decided to have a God day. I'm reading Jesus Calling as my devotional this year and it's all about listening to God and not being in control or making plans. So I got in my car with the idea of finding a gift for my mother's upcoming birthday. I got on highways I never take and just sort of went where the spirit took me and had a marvellous and fruitful day. My travels also took me to Alphabet Chocolate in Oakville where I met a potential kindred spirit (and Parisian!) in the proprietress Corinne. I'm trying this thing where if I keep my sugar intake low in the day, I treat myself with one truffle at the end of the day. I stocked myself with a supply of handmade Earl Grey and Lavender truffles.
Then I had the chance to relax…
I was very proud of myself last night. Our GO train downtown was cancelled and instead of waiting for the next one, the kids and I jumped in the car and I braved rush hour traffic. Toronto traffic has become unmanageable. It took me three u-turns, a brief chat with a police officer, and 35 minutes to move three city blocks. But I was still home at the same time I would have been had the train not been cancelled (I was not about to miss the BF's Santa Fe chicken!) In fact, I crossed under the train bridge in my car at the same time my train would have been coming into the station, which I think means I almost broke the space time continuum a la Sliding Doors.
Speaking of which, I'm sad for La Gwyn. She's always been at my age and stage and I thought those kids would make it. On the plus side, I will no longer be the most entitled single mom on the planet. Even though I have my own driver…