Chances Are (1989)
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Using the idea of a reincarnated man who happens to return to his former wife's home many years later, the plot takes unexpected, delightful turns.
Twenty four year old Robert Downey, Jr. renders a delightful performance, ably assisted by Cybil Shepherd as the widow and Ryan O'Neal as a good friend.
This trio has just the right chemistry for this caper, playing off one another with a graceful style. I've watched this film a number of times on tv, and each time found it most enjoyable.
The acting is great--Robert Downey Jr. and Cybill Shepherd are in top form and enjoying every second of it. Ryan O'Neal and Mary Stuart Masterson are just OK but fine. If you're a sucker for good, sweet sentimental films (like me), catch this one. Also Downey looks great in his underwear!
Extra bonuses--the title song sung by Johnny Mathis and another great song "After All" sung by Cher and Peter Cetera.
I measure films by how many times I have to watch them before I'm satisfied... Chances Are had me back a few good times.
I also watch the synergy between the cast... I thought they worked well together.
Open your heart, and let the comedic magic of film transport you.
"Chances Are" is a delightful romantic comedy from the 80´s. It is impressive how creative were the writers and screenwriters in this decade. Even thirty and something years later, these comedies are still cult. "Chances Are" is no exception and it is a tremendous family entertainment in the present days. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Céu se Enganou" ("The Heaven Has Mistaken")
Although this movie is 15-years old, it still makes you wonder if there really is such a thing as re-incarnation. And if so, how often to you meet the same souls life after life. I don't know the answer. But I do know that you need to see this movie. It is a riot, and Downey looks SO GOOD in a tuxedo. This film makes you believe in love, and true love never dies. It just gets recycled.
This is a rather old movie, released (I think) in 1989. Its main premise is that a man dies while his wife is pregnant. He comes back as a young 22-year-old in the present day and falls for first his daughter (not realizing she's his daughter) and then his wife (when he remembers she's his wife.)
I really, really liked this movie. Much has been said about the guy's (Louie) twisted sense of morality, since he falls for his own daughter, but remember, that's when he doesn't know she's his daughter. (It seems that most people don't understand that at one point an angel gives Louie a shot that erases the memory of his past life.)
What really struck me was the great soundtrack for the movie. When I couldn't find it for sale, I downloaded the songs from Napster, and love them all. They're great, especially how they're used in the movie.
I could probably watch this movie a dozen times. So many people dislike it, but I love it.
I have come to really adore Downey. He looks really angelic and cutely irresistible in this role. He shows a more mature comic flair than many of his previous movies before this movie . For example - like Weird Science, 1969, Rented Lips & Back to School.
The cast is pretty much bang on in their portrayals. Overall, the story is well tied and makes a comic connection.
Just keep in mind that when you sit to watch this movie, just loose yourself. Let your brain rest, sit back and enjoy.
The movie is in the vein of both romantic movies such as While You Were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and the "high gimmick" sorts of movies like Big, Back to the Future, Peggy Sue Got Married. I hate to say this, because this cast was superb and I'd never change any of them- but I think it didn't succeed as well as the movies mentioned above because the box office appeal of the cast was just not as great as Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Michael J. Fox, and Kathleen Turner at the time the movie was made.
It's not superbly written - e.g., the characters' lines are not particularly memorable. Yet it's executed to perfection.
The romantic yearnings are truly palpable, the "feeling" of people falling in love is exquisitely communicated, love's timelessness and all-encompassing sweep, the feeling of loss and desire to recapture that connection, are so touchingly delivered. Again and again, you will find yourself moved. Actually, a comparable movie is Made in Heaven -the same romantic yearning.
Do see this - it's lovely.
The movie begins with Louie Jefferies, a young lawyer about to meet up with his pregnant wife on their one year anniversary when he is tragically killed. Once he arrives in heaven, he makes such a big fuss about getting back to his pregnant wife that the people of heaven forget to give him a special "memory blocking syrum" before he is reincarnated.
At the age of 23, the re-incarnated Louie (now Alex Finch) doesn't remember a thing until he sees his wife again. As Alex tries to convince her that he is indeed her deceased husband, this is where the beauty and lovely comedy begins to unfold.
Such a story could have easily fallen apart had it not been for Robert Downey Jr's convincing role as Alex Finch. Shepherd also deliveres in this film by being realistically adverse to the notion of accepting Alex as her reincarnated husband. The beginnings of the movie seem a little slow, plot-wise, but they are an important foundation to the rest of the movie. The final clinch in the plot was a surprise to me (without ruining any details). All in all, you have to watch this movie at least once.
The script is perfect for Cybill Shepherd, who at the time needed to capitalize on her "Moonlighting" success for the new generation who was (fortunately for her) probably unaware of how many big screen major duds she had after a very promising start. In this film she's every bit back in form as a still-pining widow living vicariously through her daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson on the cusp of stardom which would peak with "Fried Green Tomatoes" two years later). She may have looked too young for the role, but that works well for the way the story unfolds. This is her film, but she doesn't overstep her bounds as a lead.
SHepherd graciously allows Robert Downey Jr. to carry much of the film and shows a more mature comic flair than he had in his previous films to that point. And there's ample support from Ryan O'Neal (in his best role in years) and Christopher MacDonald. Masterson's natural charm pretty much coasts on its own, either that or she has a way of making her character seem like a breath of fresh air with every word.
Ardolino makes good use of his cast's sex appeal the same way he did with "Dirty Dancing", but this film is not quite as sizzling so you could still watch it with your parents if they happened to be in the room. (Use your best judgment, they're your parents after all.) I give this film a high mark because it is very user friendly, romantic comedy enthusiasts will find it sublime, and those who are just watching along with them should find plenty of humor to enjoy as well.
Again, credit goes to Emile Ardolino for making the most of a charming script by Randy and Perry Howze. (Where are they now?) Ardolino's next film would be the phoned-in sequel to "Three Men and A Baby" but his final theatrical release (Sister Act) would finally give him the nine-figure-grossing smash hit he deserved. Mr. Ardolino, your cinematic touch IS missed!
This story has been done several times before with such films as "Heaven Can Wait." It's also been done a lot better. Too bad they had to waste the talents of Robert Downey Jr., Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal and Mary Stuart Masterson.
At least it's a pretty tame film, language-wise. That's about the only redeeming quality of this movie.