Pearly Gates - Movie Review

Updated: Jul 9

As with all movies on this website, our goal is not to provide a complete synopsis of the film, but rather to document how the movie relates to the meaning of life. With that said, be forewarned, there are still spoilers ahead.


Pearly Gates is a comedic musical that was released in 2015, written and directed by Scott Ehrlich, about a Jewish man named Richard Whiner, played by Scott Grimes, who learns he has pancreatic cancer and only has 3-months left to live.

Consequently, as a result of his diagnosis, Richard (aka Dick), a urologist and Mohel of the year recipient, starts to question what he should do with his remaining days … and also a bit about the meaning of life. Before Richard learns the grim news of his inevitable fate, he was working on a dream to open a low-cost retirement center that would focus on the engagement of senior citizens called the Pearly Gates. With only 3-months left to live, Richard's final goal in life is to see his Pearly Gates project to fruition.


However, to see the goal come to fruition, it will come at a substantial cost—the cost of spending time with his family. This becomes readily apparent after he misses his son scoring the winning touchdown in a football game because he was meeting with the mayor. His kids, his wife, angry with him, angry at the foresight of losing their beloved father, her beloved husband, turn their rage towards him … in the form of singing, of course.


Distraught, but about to reach the pinnacle of evolutionary design—intelligently designed or not, he asks his dad:


Richard: My Whole life has been building to this moment, dad, an award-winning circumciser. Time is just slipping through my grasp, and I didn't get it, man. What's ... what's the purpose of it all?

Father: Ah, the age-old question. But luckily I'm old age, so ... moments. Life isn't about the big win. Life is in all the small moments.

And that's that. After receiving the prestigious Mohel of the year award, he retires and spends his remaining nine days with his family making up for all the years he lost and dying happily ever after as the Pearly Gates is posthumously granted approval by the mayor.


Movie rating:


Overall - 5

Meaning of Life Relevance - 6

Uniqueness – 8


Did you see the movie? What did you think? Is the meaning of life found in its moments, or the larger picture?


#death #family #judaism