After Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert. His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie, commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert's warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he'd imagined. Written by
Disclaimer after the end credits: "The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons, living, dead or reincarnated is intended or should be inferred." See more »
To hell with the critics and the cynics. I absolutely love this movie - it's in my top ten (or maybe even top five) list of favorite movies (I saw it at least 3 times in the theater and own it on DVD). I have to admit, I'm one of those non- (almost anti-) elitist, "I don't know art, but I know what I like" type people. I also truly love positive, upbeat movies with happy endings. Not to say that "realistic" movies aren't also great, but there is room for everything in the moviemaking genre. Isn't there enough depressing "realism" on the evening news to satisfy even the most jaded cynic?
I can't say exactly what it is that strikes me about this movie. The incredible color-saturated visuals and special effects certainly help. The acting talents of Robin Williams and Max Von Sydow help. And I loved the story. Emotionally manipulative it may be, but this is one of those films where I WANTED to be manipulated, where I willingly participated. Apparently some people resented it, but I was sobbing through much the movie, and glad to be doing so. Laugh if you please, say whatever you want... this movie touches my heart.
"Deep" it isn't, not terribly. On a metaphysical level, it goes only slightly beyond new-age kitsch. Very few of the afterlife scenes and concepts agree with the spiritual outlook of any known religion. But I don't care. Again, if a movie touches my heart in just the right place, I can forgive it almost anything. This one did. 9/10.
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