It is a real pleasure to see a family movie that is both very funny and extremely moving at the same time. This is one for both the adults and their children.
Florence Henderson stars in this movie about a writer who promises her granddaughter that she'll be at her birthday party. But Florence's character dies just before the date. Once in heaven, Florence's character deals with some very funny bureaucracy in order to keep her promise and try to get back to earth for her granddaughter's birthday. What happens when she finally is able to go back to earth is very poignant.
Writer, Ann Marcus's script is a wonderfully written combination of comedy and drama. She is also able to sneak in some questions about "here" and "there."
Director, Nat Christian serves up a full and delicious meal. He masterfully blends the comedy and drama, rhythmically moving it along to an emotionally moving crescendo. And Christian knows his actors, extracting subtle and moving performances by Florence Henderson, Allison Lange, David Paetkau, Yaani King and Kathryn Gordon.
Florence Henderson is terrific in the lead role. Ms. Henderson is always likable in her TV roles, but here, she displays a sense of tragedy, rarely seen from her. She is natural and "real." Allison Lange is a beautiful actress to watch and gives a moving portrayal as the younger Florence. David Paekau is truthful and very appealing to watch.
Beautiful, Yaani King, delivers a compellingly funny performance. Kathryn Gordon gives an emotionally honest portrayal. Chloe Hunter is sexy in the 1940s sort of way. Skyler Gisondo is wonderfully cute. And Stephanie Patton, a very pleasant new comer, gives a knockout performance.
A cameo by veteran actor, Joe Campanella, is one of the most heart touching scenes that I have seen in a long time. Time Winters is hilarious. Newell Alexander is very charming.
James Barth's music delivers a very effective score also blending comedy and drama. Camera work by Michael Hardwick and the editing by Jeffrey Gove are right on the money.
For Heaven's Sake is a movie that accomplishes the difficult task of delivering real performances and some real drama within the context of some very zany stuff. Mission accomplished.
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