November 03, 1980 12:00 PM

Why God, in His infinite wisdom, would choose to visit Earth twice within three years and manifest Himself in Southern California both times is beyond comprehension. So is almost everything else about this sappy sequel to the successful 1977 film. George Burns is back as the Man Upstairs and he is as delightful as ever. This time around, He’s looking for a good advertising slogan and enlists the aid of an 11-year-old schoolgirl, played by a newcomer named simply Louanne, who has a serious case of the cutes. After rejecting suggestions like “God Is Bullish on Humanity” and “Let God Put You in the Driver’s Seat,” the Supreme One settles on the direct approach: “Think God!” It’s hard to argue with the message; it’s just that the medium leaves so much to be desired. With five screenwriters and Gilbert (The Promise) Cates as director, the sequel seems hopelessly contrived and desperately unoriginal in comparison with the Carl Reiner original. Let’s hope that it is now a closed book. (PG)

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