Can you argue with an argument stated in the title of a movie? In this one, which is based on a book by the same name, “Heaven is For Real” is stated as fact. There is no way to know independently, other than being there and seeing it for yourself.
This is the story of the Burpo family in Nebraska. Todd (Greg Kinnear) is a preacher and a part-time firefighter. He and his wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly) have two kids, daughter Cassie and son Colton (Connor Corum). He is leading a small church in a small town, and most of his friends are also in the congregation (and part of the volunteer fire department).
The family is distressed with some high debts and medical issues. The people on the church board think Todd is starting to stress out. Jay (Thomas Haden Church) and Nancy (Margo Martingale) think he needs some time off.
Soon after, Colton falls ill with appendicitis. He nearly dies, but never goes into a coma. When Colton is back well again, he tells of leaving his body and being in Heaven. Todd is very skeptical, and this causes more tension in the church when Colton tells more people.
Colton does seem to know some things that he would otherwise have no knowledge. He knows that Sonja had a stillborn baby girl years ago. Colton says she saw the girl in Heaven. There is no way that Colton would know about the unborn first daughter. He says that he has seen his Grandfather in Heaven. He does not look like the pictures take when he was older. He looks forever young.
The people of the church feel that this is too much attention focused on Todd and Colton, and it is affecting the church in a bad way. But soon there is more publicity about Colton, and he is able to talk to Nancy about her son who died in the service overseas. She starts to believe that Colton does know something and he could only learn this if he did go to Heaven.
This movie does seem a little bit more geared to the Trinity Broadcast Network than it does to the normal Hollywood audience. But with some decent acting talent (Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Haden Church), they make a story that works for the most part. The part of Colton, who is supposed to 4 years old, is the main key to making the movie believable. Connor Corum does a serviceable job in a role that should be 80% cute kid and 20% acting.
Actually, I’m kinda waiting to see there will be a remake made by Tyler Perry, one that is geared to the Black audience. Maybe he will call that movie “Heaven is Fo’ Sho’”…