Release dateMay 14, 2007 (2007-05-14) (USA)
May 14, 2007 (2007-05-14) Based onWhat If God Were the Sun?
by John Edward WriterJanet Dulin Jones (teleplay), Jamie Pachino (teleplay), John Edward (book)
What If God Were the Sun? is a 2007 American television film directed by Stephen Tolkin and starring Lacey Chabert and Gena Rowlands. Written by Janet Dulin Jones and Jamie Pachino, based in part on a novel by John Edward, the film is about a dedicated nurse whose life is disrupted by her father's death. After losing her job, she finds comfort and inspiration in caring for a terminally ill woman with a quick wit and strong faith. What If God Were the Sun? was originally broadcast by Lifetime Television on May 14, 2007.
Jamie is an ER nurse preparing for her upcoming wedding. When her policeman father unexpectedly dies in a hospital room adjacent to the one in which she's caring for a patient, her grief consumes her life, severely affecting her job performance and her relationship with her fiancé. Not until she meets Melissa, who is facing death from cancer with a sunny outlook and an unwavering faith in God, does Jamie begin to cope with her feelings and question her religious beliefs, including her conviction that the afterlife doesn't exist.
Lacey Chabert as Jamie Spagnoletti
Gena Rowlands as Melissa Eisenbloom
Sam Trammell as Jeff
Sarah Rafferty as Rachel Eisenbloom
Klea Scott as Carmen
Amanda Brugel as Lupe
Diana Reis as Katherine
Kim Roberts as Maricela
Maria Ricossa as Alma
Illya Torres-Garner as Raul
Ernesto Griffith as Captain Herbert
Yogesh Chotalia as Dr. Browning
David Stuart Evans as Michael
Robert Marshall as Orlando
Jan Skene as Dr. Greenberg
In her review in Variety, Laura Fries said, "Rowlands is easily the best thing about the pic, and faces its many challenges, including cliches and colossally bad dialogue, with her reputation fairly unscathed . . . ultimately even [her] presence can't save the film from its own overwrought emotions and preposterous posthumous allusions. Perhaps the dead are always with us, but they would surely be grateful to miss this one."
Marilyn Moss of The Hollywood Reporter observed, "Its parts don't always mesh or make sense - storywise and otherwise - but anyone who stays with the characters long enough won't come away empty-handed . . . the story [wants] to be too many things and encase too many issues and events. Still, who cares about such small matters if it means getting to watch Gena Rowlands on the screen?"
Gena Rowlands was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for her performance.