Betsy Simon is a struggling children’s author who wants more out of life. After her work is rejected again, she complains to God that He never answers the prayers she wants Him to answer. However, this complaint triggers some unforeseen and unwanted consequences as Betsy suddenly finds herself in a world where God answered every prayer she ever prayed. While it seems good at first, Betsy soon finds that not all is as it seems and quickly looks for a way out, but finds none. Will she be able to return to the life God has for her before it’s too late?
Production Quality (2 points)
As a newer production, Heavens to Betsy is an improvement over the previous effort in Angels in Our Midst. This includes good video quality and camera work. However, there are some cheesy sound effects, as well as a generic ‘silly’ soundtrack. There are also some odd background sounds in some scenes, as well as randomly cutoff audio at random times. Nonetheless, sets, locations, and props are great and appropriate. The editing is mostly okay, but this story basically writes itself, so not much effort is needed. On the whole, this is, for the most part, what a modern Christian production should look like.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
In the beginning, Heavens to Betsy is a ridiculously forced comedy that is trying way too hard to be funny. This is evident in the very cheesy comedy elements and the forced dialogue that causes the characters to be one-dimensional and even mindless at times. Besides this, the premise is based on the predictable wish-comes-true-in-alternate-reality-to-remind-protaganist-they-don’t-like-that-idea-anymore storyline. This predictable convention is coupled with a cheap Christian message in the beginning, yet it becomes more meaningful as the movie progresses and even ends with a slightly interesting lesson that is based on a partially creative idea. Though this story gets better in the end due to some unexpected turns, it is still too little too late as the beginning of the film is likely to lose a lot of viewers before they get to this point. However, the effort is commendable.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
Like the plot, the acting begins as awkward, unsure, and trying way too hard to be funny. Lines and emotions come off as overly practiced in the beginning. However, there is improvement after the middle point of the film as there are some better, more well-acted moments. Thus, this rounds out an almost-average film.
Believe it or not, Heavens to Betsy, especially the second half, is an idea that is worth remaking or redoing in some way. While the premise has been used before, transposing unanswered prayers into it gives it more than just a ‘Christian spin,’ even though it can come off that way at times. This is a pertinent issue that needs to be explored in a far better forum, preferably not in a comedy. Regardless, Christian film makers need to continue to shed their ‘silly’ or ‘cute’ image, and this film doesn’t really do its part on this front.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points