Sunday, February 19, 2012

Made In Heaven - 1987

Made In Heaven

I was watching this movie on Netflix when my husband got up this morning.  After a few minutes of watching he turned to me.

"Why are you watching this?"

"It was on Netflix."

"But why?  I don't recognize anyone in it."

"Uh, that's Timothy Hutton and there's Kelly McGillis."

"Is it almost over?"

Lucky for him it was. 

This is a sweet movie.  Timothy Hutton is Mike.  He has come home from World War II and is sort of finding his way in the world.  His girlfriend dumps him and he decides to go to California and seek his fortune there.  Less than a hundred miles from home he stops to help at an accident and ends up dying.

That is where Heaven comes in.

He is greeted by his dead aunt who has the thankless job of telling him he's dead.   Soon he meets Annie.  She is a new soul who has never been to Earth.  He is excited to learn that he might get to go back.  But he's fallen in love.

He builds a house and asks Annie to marry him.  Everything is great until he learns that Annie is going to leave.

Annie: You know what we've never done. We've never... danced. I'm going aren't I?
Mike: Yes.
Annie: Don't be sad. Don't get sad Mike.
Mike: Why does it have to be you?
Annie: It's not sad. I'm going to be somebody's baby

Mike then makes a deal with Emmet, who runs things.  He wants to go back to Earth too.  Emmett, played by Debra Winger, agrees but puts a time limit on them finding each other.

Mike has until his 30th birthday to find her.

We flash to see Annie, who is now Ally growing up with a supportive widower father and her imaginary friend Mike.  Mike is now Elmo and is being raised by his single mother and what appears to be a series of "uncles". 

They spend the rest of the movie wandering.  Ally gets married but her husband isn't happy and leaves.  Her father dies. 

Elmo is on a self-destructive path and after fighting in Viet Nam, is roaming the country.  On his 28th birthday he is visited by Emmett during his low point and begins to turn things around.  He meets Mike's parents while they are crossing the country and they give him a tool to start his life, a trumpet.  Soon he is finding his calling and writes a great song, "We've Never Danced", inspired unknowingly by Annie.

Ally is trying to get over her divorce and her father's death, but is now lost.  After running into her ex she is upset and walking down the street in Manhattan.  Elmo has a hit record and a crowd of people helping him celebrate his thirtieth birthday.  He decides to walk rather than taking a cab.

After a whole movie of near misses, it is only in the last minute that they find each other on the street. 

It finishes with them finally dancing together.

It is a sweet romantic little movie.  It has an interesting take on the afterlife.  My favorite afterlife movie is Albert Brooks "Defending Your Life" mostly because there you get to eat all you want.  What does that say about me?

But it is a nice way to spend an hour and a half. 

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