It is almost a safe bet that at this point, we’ve all seen It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart. That 1946 movie is a staple at Christmas time. The whole point of that story is how the main character got a chance to see what life would be like if he was never born. Fast forward half a century later, and Nicholas Cage starred in a reimaging of that film called The Family Man.
I’m telling you about those two films because What If… is the Christian version of those two. This film kept showing up as one of the most viewed movies on Pure Flix, and I just wasn’t sure if it was going to be for me. I finally gave it a go and spent the final 15-20 mins with tears in my eyes. By the time it was over, the tears had streamed down my cheeks. I tried to stay macho and say I wasn’t crying, but I couldn’t help it. This movie was simply fantastic.
Our opinions on things may vary, so even though I really enjoyed this film and was moved by the outcome, you may not feel the same. That is life.
I love how a hotshot business executive, Ben (Kevin Sorbo), who seemingly had it all, was called upon by God to get a glimpse at a life that could have been. It was 15 years ago that he walked out on his girlfriend Katie (Kristy Swanson) and went to business school. They were talking about the future and opening a church one day when his dreams to be successful in finance became his priority. After that, he had the world at his fingertips and never took no for an answer.
When thrown back into a life of what could have been, he’s married to Katie and has two daughters. The best part of this new life is he’s the Pastor of the local church. I didn’t see that coming, but it was fun. Thrown for a loop, his new life is a nightmare, and the only way to go back is to appreciate this life, one filled with great purpose.
(Spoilers) It nearly broke my heart when he finally realizes that being a Pastor was his true calling, and he didn’t want to go back to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It was really inspiring to see him change and accept his new fate. He welcomed it with open arms. Acceptance was such a character change for him. Yes, it was probably predictable from the beginning, but I was touched.
The movie ended where it all began at the bus depot. Although we knew what was going to happen, Ben’s speech and actions were heartfelt and real. I almost felt as crushed as he did. We know this film had a happy ending, so watch it if you want to witness it. Don’t hate it because you thought it was predictable.
I loved this movie, just like It’s a Wonderful Life and The Family Man. I love the message behind the story and the changes the character went through. Maybe I have been chasing down the wrong careers all this time, and I may have missed God’s calling to something better. I may never know that, but I do know I got the rest of my life to figure it out. 9/10