Oh, God! is an oddly anachronistic film one hesitates to use the word satire. It really belongs more in the heyday of the light fantasy in the 1940s. It is an amiable, well-turned fantasy, although equally an easy and uncontroversial one. The God shown here is the decidedly ecumenicised God of the humanist movement rather than the Baptist movement there is pointedly no mention of Devil, hellfire or sin throughout. In fact, in the films most controversial standing, the evils of the piece are actually seen as being the charismatic religious movement. George Burns makes for a gently, charming God his most impressive miracle is a series of card tricks and he dismisses all the rest as Hollywood special effects, and as an article for faith to convince Jerry, he only creates a rainstorm inside his car so as not to spoil everyone elses day. It is a gentle and rather easy religious vision that, for all its being mounted as a satire, has nothing particularly challenging to say about religion and only takes aim at a fairly innocuous target.
While John Denvers All-American boy/man persona suits the film, his nervously whiny, stammering performance does not and remains the films singular pill of discontent. Teri Garr is cast in the same role of the longsuffering wife doubting her husbands fantastical encounter that she also underwent in the same years Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and plays appealingly.
The film was written by Larry Gelbart, the well-known comedy writer and creator of tvs M.A.S.H. (1972-1983) and author of the play A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963). It was directed by former comic Carl Reiner, who had a long history as a writer, producer and performer in comedy variety shows going back to the 1950s. To more modern audiences, he is better known as the father of Rob Reiner and for the role of Saul Bloom in the Oceans Eleven films. Reiner subsequently went onto direct a series of collaborations with Steve Martin The Jerk (1982), Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983) and All Of Me (1984). He also ventured into genre material with the psycho-thriller spoof Fatal Instinct (1993).
There were two lame sequels, both featuring Burns, Oh God Book II (1980) and Oh God, You Devil (1984).