|Greg Kinnear and Connor Corum star in "Heaven is for Real." (Sony Pictures)|
When the book, “Heaven is for Real” came out in 2010 it was practically an overnight success and a lightning bolt for controversy. Written by Pastor Todd Burpo and father of the boy who visited heaven, the book has sold millions of copies and has become so popular that Heaven is for Real Ministries was established in May of 2011. It is then no surprise that a movie has been made about the experience.
The simple storyline is that 4-year-old Colton was rushed to the hospital and had a near-death experience where he went to heaven for a short visit and then told everyone about it. The previews of the movie suggest that the story would be treated with a heavy dose of saccharine and for the first ten minutes or so, it is.
The Burpo family is a model for society. In addition to his preaching duties, Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear) runs his own business, volunteers for the fire department and coaches Little League. His wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly) is a stay-at-home mom and leads the church’s choir. Their children are little angels. They are well-liked in their small town and even though the Burpo’s struggle financially, Todd doesn’t ask for help in fear that if he does so, people would think that he is just another money-grabbing preacher. Everything is perfect, so it seems. However, stick with it as the story gets better.