The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a white worker in a chocolate ... See full summary »
Scott Barnes (Travolta) is an alcoholic turned social worker hellbent on saving a young boy named Tommy (Lawrence) from self-destructing when he finds out he has begun selling crack in an ... See full summary »
John Travolta is a downtrodden single father raising his daughter under difficult circumstances in Chicago. The young girl comes upon and then nurses a wounded Doberman used for fighting, ... See full summary »
Frank Quinlan and Huey Driscoll, two reporters from a Chicago-based tabloid, along with Dorothy Winters, an 'angel expert', are asked to travel to rural Iowa to investigate a claim from an old woman that she shares her house with a real, live archangel named Michael. Upon arrival, they see that her claims are true - but Michael is not what they expected: he smokes, drinks beer, has a very active libido and has a rather colourful vocabulary. In fact, they would never believe it were it not for the two feathery wings protruding from his back. Michael agrees to travel to Chicago with the threesome, but what they don't realise is that the journey they are about to undertake will change their lives forever. Written by
Jonathan Broxton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although set in Iowa many scenes were filmed in and around New Braunfels, Texas. Gruene Hall, built in 1878 and known as the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas served as, "Joe's," where the dance scene to, "Chain of Fools," and the ensuing bar brawl took place. See more »
When the group first leaves Pansy's house, and they're driving down the highway on their way back to Chicago, the rear-view mirror appears and disappears, depending on the shot. Views from inside the car show the mirror. Views looking in from the outside reveal the mirror is missing. See more »
And you just gotta remember, Sparky - no matter what they tell you - you can *never* have too much sugar.
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Ave Maria; Op.52, No.6
Composed by Franz Schubert (uncredited)
Arrangement of a public domain work by Chet Atkins
Published by Athens Music
All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Performed by Chet Atkins
Produced by Chet Atkins, C.G.P.
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
Fairly meandering and aimless but quite inoffensive and certainly not as bad as it looked in it's trailers
Frank Quinlan and Huey Driscoll are reporters for a trashy tabloid paper who are on a bad run of bad stories. When their editor lays down an ultimatum to them, they bring him a potentially great story a real life angel. They are accompanied by a supposed angel expert, Dorothy Winters who has really been sent to keep an eye on the reporters for editor Vartan Malt. When they arrive they find the 'angel' to appear to be genuine but to be a lot less, well, angelic than they expected him to be smoking, drinking and womanising. Michael agrees to go back to Chicago and be in the papers but only if they can travel back by road and make stops along the way. As Michael gets his traveling companions in and out of trouble it begins to seem that he may actually have a bigger aim to achieve than just getting into the papers.
In the UK it is not the 'done thing' to cheer, clap or deride films or trailers in a very public way in the same manner as US audiences will do as the norm (my first time in a US cinema was a surprise when the audience applauded), but it is the reason I will always remember this film. When the trailer was shown in the UK, the audience I was with actually jeered and booed it (myself included) because it just looked so damn lame and stupid. So I skipped it in the cinema (as many did) but then caught it on TV a few years later. Although it is far from a perfect film and its mood and tone are poorly matched it is actually nowhere near as bad as it looked. The story is the usual earthbound angel stuff that Hollywood seems to quite like and it meanders along rather aimlessly, turning into a very vague road movie of sorts. The romance is obvious and uninspiring but generally the film is fun when it manages to have it's tongue in its cheek.
The problem is that it can't decide if it wants to be sappy and romantic or daffy fun. When it tries to be more of a traditional Hollywood romance it doesn't really work that well and indeed is rather laboured. However when it just gets silly and focuses on a really tongue in cheek Michael then it is much more enjoyable as long as you can buy into the sense of humour that it is selling. These two styles don't really come together and they give the film a rather fragmented feel that takes away from the fun (if silly) aspect that stood a good chance of really working if given a little bit more dominance in the film. Sadly the film falls back too much on sentimentality and it sours the mix because it is manufactured, processed, unengaging and quite forced.
For the same reason the performances are mixed. For the most part Travolta is quite funny and just appears to be taking the p*ss and enjoying himself the way he doesn't seem to take it seriously helped me enjoy the film a lot more. He is silly of course but I found this to be enjoyable in light of the more ponderous 'worthy' roles he has played in the years since his Pulp Fiction comeback. Lumbered with the promise of romance, Hurt is not that good but is nicely cynical for the majority of the movie; MacDowell is painfully lame at times and her character is pretty poor, she is a big part of the reason why it is hard to really care about the romance in the story. Both Pastorelli and Hoskins seem to have fun and share a handful of good lines throughout the movie while little roles for other well known faces vary between the effective (Joey Lauren Adams) and the simply pointless (did Richard Schiff really need work this badly?).
Anyway, the film is not great but it is not awful either. It's mix of the sappy and the silly is pretty badly done and I was left wanting a more engaging romance and a lot more of Travolta's mockingly silly performance. All told it is maybe worth a watch once but it is far from being a good film and, if you don't like John Travolta's performance then there isn't a great deal else to watch it for.
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