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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you enjoyed Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie, you will be pleased
that his latest work, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, does not
suffer in comparison. A made-for-TV movie, released this February on
DVD, Five People is about how each person we meet, though appearing
insignificant, are part of the vast web of interconnection that affects
our life. Jon Voight plays Eddie, an 83-year old mechanic who has
worked at the Ruby Pier Amusement Park all his life except for a stint
in the army during World War II. The first thing we learn about Eddie
is that he is dead, killed in a roller coaster accident while trying to
save a little girl.
The next thing we find out is that, in heaven, Eddie will meet and talk with five people who were the most influential in his life, people Eddie would probably not think of first, but whose influence becomes slowly and painstakingly revealed. As he re-experiences traumatic events from the past, it soon becomes clear that what they share with him allows him to complete and illuminate the past. Eddie meets "The Blue Man" (Jeff Daniels), part of the sideshow at the park, his Army captain (Michael Imperioli), his wife Marguerite (Dagmara Dominczyk) who died after only a few years of marriage, the wife of the original owner of the Ruby Pier (Ellen Burstyn), and a little Filipino girl named Tala (Nicaela and Shelbie Weigel).
Each shows him how he impacted their life or they his--and not always for the better. (In these flashbacks, Callahan Brebner and Steven Grayhm play the young Eddie.). As Eddie's wartime experiences are dramatized as well as his romance and courtship with Marguerite, we learn a great deal about Eddie including the unfulfilled dreams of his youth and his subsequent disillusionment. Like Sidney Lumet's 1982 film Daniel, Kramer uses color to distinguish between past and present: black and white for the past, blue for the present, and orange for heaven. The film allows us to realize that life is not a series of random events without meaning or purpose, but that everything happens for a reason and that it is important to communicate with those we may have hurt, forgive others, and refrain from superficial and wrong-headed judgments.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven is not for those who enjoy layers of complexity in their films or those looking for stylistic innovation. It is a simple story, imaginatively told and the acting and the direction far exceed what we have come to identify with TV movies of the week. The only real drawback is the sound quality that ranges from inaudible to overly loud. Some of the sentiment may be a little saccharine at times, but it is earned and there is no attempt to create emotion where none exists. I found The Five People You Meet in Heaven to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience that, like Dickens Christmas Carol, reminds us of what is really important in life.
I really enjoyed this movie - enough to want to see it again and/or
purchase the DVD if it comes out.
My husband had read the book beforehand, but I had not. I thought it was riveting. In trying to explain the ending to my husband, I was so "into" it that I just couldn't help but cry while trying to talk. I was there emotionally, in the movie.
To me, a good movie or book is one that grips you, holds your attention. This movie did just that. I don't know that heaven will be this way or not.
My Bible doesn't say that it will be, but we all have our opinions of what we think Heaven will be like. It was a beautiful story, and said, in a nutshell, that no life is worthless. We all touch and affect people every day, sometimes in ways that we will never know in this life.
I think it's definitely a movie worth seeing!
I watched this movie and thought it was such a wonderful story. It really goes through all the parts of his life and who he touched (whether he knew it or not). I would love to think that we will all have that kind of resolution when our time on Earth is done. This movie will definitely make you cry! I lost my mother when I was younger and this movie made me understand what my father went through at this time. It also gave me an idea of what it was like to fight in a war and have to live with what happened there for the rest of your life. I would absolutely recommend this movie to everyone. For all of us that think death is such an awful thing and are sad to think of those we would leave behind, it was a great way to look at what could happen after our life is over. It also gives hope that those we have lost are still watching over us.
On my summer reading book list one of the choices was Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet In Heaven. The story sounded interesting and there was a lot of fuss about it, so out of curiosity I decided to read the book and see for myself. The book was a stunning and fascinating piece of drama I have ever read and will always remain one of my favorite books. After finishing the book and hearing there was a movie version of it on DVD I just had to rent it. In all my life, I had never seen a movie more loyal to the book. The dialog was straight from the book, no ab libbing that was close to the story. The description was better than I pictured the images in the book. But the best part was the actors in the movie. I would have never imagined Jon Voight as Eddie Maintenance, that was a smart move. Another part that I would suggest to the people reading this review is the lesson learned in this film. Maybe your life means nothing to you, but you'd be surprised what your life means to others.
Its the type of movie I wished I had taped and then could delete all
the commericals but then again I got to see it for free.
I plan to buy the book and DVD and then once or twice a year sit down and watch it again. Its a classic keeper.
I guess I could go on and find 285 things wrong with the TV movie but I won't and in all fairness, it was worth every minute of the three hours it was on, and I wouldn't change one frame.
Voight was at his usual best, along with Ellen Burstyn and Michael Imperioli. Scenery was excellent and well done and the period costumes were great. I look forward to reading the book.
Steven Grayhm who played young Eddie was superb also.
This movie proves that television can produce a superior product when it wants to. It just doesn't seem to want to anymore, so that make this movie one to remember for a long, long time.
This movie proves that television can produce a superior product when it wants to. It just doens't seem to want to anymore, so that make this movie one to remember for a long, long time.
I thought this was an entertaining movie. It was a Hallmark movie, so
it may not have you depply contemplating each scene, but it was
essentially something you can feel comfortable watching with the
family, being about worth a PG rating.
I felt it was worth my time to watch it and I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it to those who want to take a step away from movies revolving around excessive violence and poorly created stories. The acting was done well enough, it succeeds in being a tear-jerker at times (at least for my girlfriend). I actually picked up the book after watching the movie, I'm hoping it's as good or better.
It's a great movie that really kept me glued to the show until the very end. It's really interesting and makes me think about who the 5 people i would meet in heaven in the future. It also makes me realize that whatever we do, it will affect someone, somewhere. This movie makes you want to reflect on whatever you have done in the past and makes you want to improve on whatever you can do now and in the future so that it would make the world a better place for you and your love ones.I would recommend this movie for those who feel really lost in life or is now too caught up in their busy lives to seat down and watch it and you'll find that it's inspirational and life changing.
Usually, a movie adapted from a book does not live up to expectations. I received the book last Christmas, and after reading it, I felt that if done correctly, it would make a good movie. This movie surpassed it's expectation and did the job. If a person had not read the book previous to watching the movie, it may have been hard to follow the flow. I could identify with every major event in the movie and felt the screen writers, producers, directors and actors, all did a marvelous job of bringing Mitch Albom's writings to life. I hope that sometime in the near future this movie is released to DVD format. Mitch Albom has a special gift in the fact that he is both a great talk show personality and an even greater author.
My boyfriend brought home this DVD 2 days ago... I really didn't think
it was possible to make a good movie out of "The Five People You Meet
in Heaven", but I was proved wrong. It was actually very good, I liked
the no-name actors that they picked, and Marguerite was gorgeous. This
movie was so emotional and full of beauty that both my boyfriend and me
were getting out the tissues to soak up our tears. The only things I
can complain about are some of the "special effects" they use in the
backgrounds (especially at the end of Eddie's meeting with his 2nd
person- you know what I'm talking about). Also, "the blue man" had
quite the accent (more funny then bad in my opinion).
Overall, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" was great for being a hallmark movie. Heck, it was good anyway. It was nice to have a change in movies to something more heartfelt.
Eddie (John Voight) is the responsible for the maintenance of the Ruby
Pier amusement park and a veteran of World War II. While trying to save
a five year old girl from an accident with ride that is falling after
rupturing the wire, Eddie dies. He awakes in Heaven, and the Blue Man
(Jeff Daniels) explains him that he will have a journey meeting five
people in their heavens that will show the importance of his life
before he goes to the next level.
"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" was a great surprise for me, with a beautiful and heartwarming message of the importance of an individual's life, following the idea of Frank Capra's masterpiece "It's a Wonderful Life", when George Bailey finds the importance of his life for the dwellers of Bedford Falls. The only problem with this contemporary movie is the too long running time, developing the story in an excessive low-pace; it could be shorter and developed in a more adequate pace. But anyway I encourage my family and friends to watch this touching movie. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "As Cinco Pessoas Que Você Encontra no Céu" ("The Five People You Meet in Heaven")
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