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Heart and Souls
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Heart and Souls More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

My favorite!

Author: DeeDeeW3 from Austin Texas
11 March 2001

This movie is my best feel good movie! The beginning seems slow, but sets up the movie, and then....wham, what a movie. Robert Downey Jr. does a fantastic job..... I rented this so many times for people to see (which NO ONE has not liked) that the place I rent movies from bought it for me for Christmas! Love it!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

fascinating movie

Author: Angela L from manila, philippines
25 April 2000

this is one of the most wonderful movie i have seen. it has great humor and touching moments. i was touched by what Thomas did for them. i would greatly recommend this film to anyone who have lost their faith. i have seen this lots of time, but for every time i watched it, it's like its the first time I have seen it.

walk like a man, talk like a man, walk like a man my son!

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There sure is good heart in Heart & Souls

Author: ramsri007 from India
4 September 2015

This fantasy romantic com kept me in splits. Wow! what a lovely feeling. I never even knew this movie existed until I read Downey's biography.

Downey plays Thomas whose head is spins from the realization that he can see 4 souls around him. For him they are real but, not for others. This leads to comic & absurd situations. He realizes that to get things back to way there were, he's going to have to bend a little to make room for the souls around him . The movie is about how the souls fulfill their last unfinished business by using Thomas as their medium & how Thomas reconciles with his true love.

This one should not have been a big deal for Downey to pull off. It's a fun movie with almost no costume change or change in his look. All he had to do was act and give his best and sure he did. His comic timing is terrific. It is a character-driven film about sacrifice, about making things right, to live life and find happiness.

This one is a family movie, yes, you can watch it with no qualms! Message: Follow your heart and live your life.

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RDJ does some big time acting

Author: SnoopyStyle
31 January 2015

It's 1959 San Francisco. Penny Washington (Alfre Woodard) leaves her three children to work the night shift. Harrison Winslow (Charles Grodin) abandons his singing audition. Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) turns down her boyfriend's proposal. Petty thief Milo Peck (Tom Sizemore) tries to get back some stamps that he stole from a boy. They all get on the same bus that crashes into the Reillys on their way to the hospital. She is forced to give birth on the side of the road. The four bus passengers are stranded as ghosts in the world connected to baby Thomas Reilly. The kid gets in trouble and the ghosts agree to stay invisible for the good of Thomas. Thomas (Robert Downey Jr.) grows up to be a ruthless corporate banker. His girlfriend Anne (Elisabeth Shue) asks him to meet her parents. The bus driver comes back to pick them up. The ghosts are suppose to resolve their one issue but no angel came to explain it. So he gives them some additional time to finish.

RDJ gets to do some big time acting pretending to be the four other characters. There is just too many stories to go through. It's not as funny as it wants to be. The ghosts leaving one at a time makes it feel anti-climatic. The story feels like it's slowly fading away. It would be better if they have a ticking clock and the ghosts stick together for the whole movie. It's a good movie for RDJ fans.

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Love, as blind and untimely, as death ...

Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
16 April 2014

"Heart and Souls" doesn't lie about its content: it has a heart, full of the sweetest and deepest forms of love, and it's about souls, four to be precise. Indeed, labeling this sparkling quartet from the 50's as ghosts would've been wrong. And except during some transitional moments where they have that ghostly 'quality', during the rest of the film, they're always seen with the hero, played by Robert Downey Jr.

Maybe I'm going too fast, but I know anyone reading this review has already seen this film, and know what the plot is about. Four ill-fated persons who, in 1959, died in a bus accident at the same moment a boy was born, which made them entwined to him for an indefinite period of time. Charles Grodin is Harrison, a wannabe-singer whose stage fright caused him to leave the audition before even uttering a word. Alfre Woodward is Penny, single mother and night worker. Tom Sizemore is Milo, a two-bit thief failing to take stamp-collections, with high sentimental value, back from his contractor. Finally, Kyra Sedgwick is Julia, a pretty waitress who let the love of her life whose incapability to make up her mind caused her proposing lover to leave the restaurant.

Visibly, they all took the same bus at the wrong moment, Harrison would have missed the bus had he tried to sing and Julia would have probably gone with her soon-to-be husband if she said yes while trying to get back to him caused her demise. As for Milo, the last thing he heard was "you stink" from the young collection's own. Penny only got loving hugs from her kids … which is only fair, since she's the only one who would have probably died anyway. But there's something particularly efficient yet simple in Ron Underwood's movie, it's the way these characters are carefully and subtly exposed, granted the subplots aren't revolutionary, at least when the accident happens, we know about their history, who they are, and their death is even sadder because it comes before their lives would come full circle.

But that's what death is, it's as blind and untimely as love. But this is not a film to make you just cry, in one of these Capraesque strikes of fate, they are not sucked up to the sky, like the driver (David Paymer) whose naughty eyes rhymed with collective demise, instead, the four 'souls' join the newborn Thomas, born in a car nearby and this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One must wonder how come they don't think about their former lives, but we meet them again when Thomas is still a baby, so they had time to resign to their fates, and at least, they had a cute little boy as company. Except that it doesn't turn well for the boy, he looks like an autistic kid with four imaginary friends, going at the races for Milo (why would a ghost need money anyway) or dancing in the toilet with his friends.

Yes, that part of the film asks a few disturbing questions. Wouldn't they adults be aware that this attitude would cause the kid's trouble? And to make it worse, I'm not sure they took the right approach anyway when they left him. You know, you remember movies for a particular scene, well, imagine if Dorothy's friends let her alone in the forest, how traumatic it would've been. And the four souls leave the poor boy alone, forever… I understand it was to protect him, but they could have handled it more tactfully, I imagine how hard it would've been for poor Thomas to lose the friends who've always been there for years and years. This is quite a heart-wrenching scene, difficult to watch, but as Milo said "life is tough" … thankfully, it cuts immediately to a young sun-glasses wearing Thomas, played by Robert Downey Jr.

The contrast is extraordinary, we understand the boy has grown more cynical and disillusioned and the 'ghost' episode has probably something to do with him.

Yet the four friends never left Thomas, followed him everywhere, they still act the same, and I wonder where were they when Thomas discovered sex, whether manual or mutual … well, I don't want to know. The film is meant like a fairy-tale and such considerations are needless, otherwise, why wouldn't they be a real criminal among the four, even Milo is more of 'Disney' bad bot. Later they learn they all have an unfinished job, and have to make up for their past mistakes. But it's too late when they're finally explained why they were kept on Earth. Anyway, the bus driver, who's got one hell of a debt toward them, give them one day to finish their business. No they have one day to convince Thomas to help them, talk about short time … this is where the story picks up, and Downey Jr. blooms on the screen.

He proves to have a real talent of mimicry when the ghosts take possession of is body, which will help them to accomplish their deeds. Whether mimicking the macho, the singer, the seductive girl and the mother who won't take any attitude, Downey is priceless and elevates the film to a comedic level that makes us forget its sadness. The whole film is an emotional switch between laughs and tears, it's one 'you'll laugh, you'll cry' moments but handled so tactfully, without any over ambitions that when the last soul leaves the world, with a sympathetic twist at the end, you know you've spent a nice moment and all you want is to be with those you love and tell them you love them. It's as sympathetic as the sight of five people playing "Walk like a Man" on the street.

It isn't "Ghost" but it humbly manages to find its own feel-good tone, one criticism though is that the film should've be called "Hearts and Souls"

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Sweet Sentimental and a Lesson to Be Learned for the Living!

Author: ( from United States
10 September 2008

In this film, you have four very different characters including a single African American mother, Penny Washington, played by the fabulous Alfre Woodard, a country girl, Julia, who comes to the city to find herself and has to choose a life between being with her beloved boyfriend and his 75 acres in the country played by Kyra Sedgwick, Harrison, a classically trained singer who fails to sing at auditions because of his fear of failure played nicely by Charles Grodin, and criminal Milo Peck who wants to correct one of his stolen properties to it's rightful owner. They all board a bus driven by David Paymer and the bus crashes killing all of them while at the same time there is a baby boy, Thomas Riley, born into the world. The boy spends his early years talking and playing with the walls but he really is playing with the spirits who talk and interact with him. They don't know why they are with them. After thirty years, they have to go to their next assignment but they have make amends. First, they have to convince Thomas Riley played by Robert Downey Jr. as an adult that he's not going crazy or seeing things but they are actually real.

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Four guardian angels and a bus driver

Author: jotix100 from New York
9 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Four different people are seen at the beginning of the story doing different things. There is Harrison, an aspiring singer, who gets paralyzed during his audition and walks out of the theater. We find Julia at the Purple Onion where her beau has come to propose, but she can't make up her mind and he leaves. Nurse Penny Washington is preparing to go to her midnight shift, not before putting her three children to bed. And finally, the punk Milo Peck is up to no good.

The next thing we see is how these four board a bus whose driver, Hal, is preoccupied with a car moving alongside, where a couple is pawing one another. That the bus crashes, doesn't surprise us, since all is pointing out to an accident. The four people and the driver are seen floating toward heaven.

At that precise moment, a couple is rushing to a hospital where the wife is going to deliver her baby, but they have no chance, the boy is born in the car and the four souls we saw floating before, return as it appears they are going to stay with this boy as his guardian angels. Julia, Harrison, Milo and Penny, are there for the duration, or at least that seems to be their purpose.

The film changes to a grown up Thomas Reilly. He is in a strange relationship with the lovely Anne, a girl who can't figure Thomas out. The foursome, take turns in changing this young man's mind as they work on him to take charge of his life and get to be somebody. Each ghost can make him do things when they enter his soul. Unfortunately, Hal, the driver, has another idea in mind: he comes to collect the quartet one at a time to take them to bigger and better things.

Ron Underwood, the director, working on the material George Hansen wrote, follows Hollywood's formula for "after life" movies. This film evokes other pictures of the genre, mainly, "Ghost", "Field of Dreams", "Heaven can Wait", and others that tackled the idea of what happens when mortals die. The film, as shown by comments in this forum, seems to be a favorite for a lot of fans that find the mere idea of the after life appealing.

What Mr. Underwood got was a good ensemble for his quartet of angels: Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Charles Grodin and an excellent appearance by Tom Sizemore, an actor not seen often playing comedy. The wonderful Robert Downey Jr. appears as the grown up Thomas Reilly and does a wonderful job with the role. Elizabeth Shue plays his girlfriend, and David Paymer is seen as Hal, the distracted bus driver responsible for the tragedy that results as the basis of this comedy.

The film is light and it will delight fans of the genre.

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Pretty good, but not great romantic drama

Author: Grace Zeh ( from Chantilly, Virginia, USA
21 November 2005

HEART AND SOULS, in my opinion, is a pretty good, but not great romantic drama. One of the best things about in, if you ask me, is the soundtrack. My favorite song of the soundtrack is the closing theme. I couldn't even begin to tell you what it's called or who it's by. The only thing that I can say about it is that it's a very lovely theme song. However, the performances were good, the set decoration was great, and the directing was good. To me, it was amazing how only Thomas (Robert Downey Jr.) could hear Julia (Kyra Sedgwick), Harrison (Charles Grodin), Penny (Alfre Woodard), and Milo (Tom Sizemore). Now, in conclusion, if you enjoy films about the afterlife or are a hopeless romantic, I highly recommend this fantasy about love and the afterlife.

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Enjoyable, if rushed.

Author: Miriam from MD
5 December 1998

Heart and Souls is about a boy with invisible friends that happen to be ghosts, who died at the moment he was born. Only he can see or hear them. This movie is quite good, and Downey, Jr. is lovable in it, as are his ghosts. Be warned, there is one scene that, if you don't like seeing little boys abandoned and bawling, you will sob your head off, like I did. Unfortunately, H&S ends extremely fast, on the plot pretense of a time limit, but you know the studio ordered it edited and to a shorter length, but it still is a lovely movie. Rent it one weekend, enjoy.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This Is Solid Proof That Downey Can Act

Author: WakenPayne from Valhalla
4 February 2010

Seriously In This Film One Minute He Is A Normal Guy Then Female Ghosts Possess Him & He Turns From Straight To Gay In 2 Seconds. Okay There Are 4 Ghosts In This Film 2 Guys 2 Girls So Thats A Relief For Me (I Hate Seeing Disturbing Or Shocking Things On Screen. The Plot Is That In 1959, Milo, Penny, Julia, and Harrison board a bus that later crashes, and all of them die but do not go to heaven right away. A baby is born in town at the same moment the bus crashes. The four dead passengers are tied to the baby, who would be named Thomas. For some reason Thomas can see them, and Thomas grows fond of them but when people think that Thomas might have something wrong with him, they decide not to let Thomas see them, which devastates him. Thirty years later Thomas is all grown and a little jaded when it comes to letting people into his life, and the four of them are still with him even though he can't see them. One day they simultaneously appear to him, and stay by his side until each one completes the final task of their personal lives. The Only Other Thing I Don't Like About This Movie Is That Song "Walk Like A Man" That Is Just A Sick Combo. Anyway It Also Has Some Emotional Scenes Like The Scene Where The Last Ghost Realises Her Ex-Boyfriend Is Dead & She Realises Her Job Was To Help Him With His Relationship (Between Elizabeth Shue) I Can Tell Thats Intended To Be Emotional Rating: 7/10

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