‘Letters to God’ Misses the Postmark

LettersToGod163x215.jpgA young boy with a tragic diagnosis. A mailman who has lost his way. A powerful message of Christ’s love and forgiveness. Sounds like the perfect Christian movie, right? Sadly, no. As much as I wanted to like this film, I just couldn’t. Now before you call me the Tin Man (no heart) and say that I kick puppies for fun, just hear me out.

Letters to God is about an 8-year-old boy named Tyler (played by Tanner Maguire) who writes letters to God during his battle with cancer. These letters impact the boy’s family, which includes his mother (Robin Lively), grandmother (Maree Cheatham), and older brother (Michael Bolten), and the life of a spiritually broken mailman (played very well by Jeffrey S. Johnson). Other cast members include Ralph Waite, L. Derek Leonidoff, and Bailee Madison.

I have two big problems with the movie. My first problem is that there really is no story. A boy with cancer is not a story. That’s a character. A boy with cancer writing letters to God is not a story. That’s a gimmick. Some will disagree with me because this film is based on a true story, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have enough elements for an engaging movie.