Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heaven Can Wait

The environmentally conscious, dimwitted quarterback for the L.A. Rams is involved in a traffic accident just days before the Super Bowl when his guardian angel jumps the gun, and transports his soul from his body. Having been swindled of his longevity, the QB is now given another chance at life as a recently murdered, but not yet collected, tycoon. "Heaven Can Wait" is an almost by the numbers remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" and like its hero Joe Pendleton, it is a not too bright but very likable motion picture. Cowriting (with Elaine May), Codirecting (with Buck Henry - who plays his guardian angel), producing, and starring, Warren Beatty does a pretty stellar job of putting all the pieces together and crafting an enjoyable feature. Many of the colorful supporting roles are filled nicely: James Mason is excellent in the Mr. Jordan role, the executive in charge of the angels. Jack Warden is also great as Beatty's football coach and I also enjoyed Charles Grodin as his murderous yet feeble secretary. The women seemed miscast here. The lovely Julie Christie is off as the love interest and Dyan Cannon (who received an Oscar nod) seems to be hitting the wrong notes as Beatty's treacherous wife. There's virtually zero moments of inspiration or originality in "Heaven Can Wait". Instead, Beatty reworks a time tested movie into another enjoyable one.
*** out of ****