Chances Are (1989) Poster

(1989)

User Reviews

Review this title
61 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
9/10
Chances Are, you'll like it!!!
settember18 April 2001
I was always a big fan of this movie, first of all have you seen the cast, the acting is superb and help make this movie move along very well. Cybill Shepherd was given great reviews for her role, and they were well deserved. The beginning of this movie starts in the past when Corinne Jeffries (Cybill) whose picture-perfect marriage comes to a shattering halt when her husband Louie dies unexpectedly. Fortunately, Louse gets a second shot at life when he agrees to be "recycled" back to earth as the newborn Alex Finch (Robert Downey, JR). Alex goes on to live his new life forgetting his past life while Corinne tries to get on with hers. But fate crosses Alexs path 23 years later when he meets Corinne's daughter Miranda (Mary Stuart Masterson) and is suddenly flooded with a wealth of unwanted memories (this is where the fun begins, and embarrassing situations occur.) The music is great and the scenes are heart felt and very cute. You wont be disappointed if you give it a chance, Chances Are you'll like it. Very funny and sweet!
30 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A Film that Might Have Slipped by You...
ijonesiii23 December 2005
CHANCES ARE is a charming romantic fantasy about a woman (Cybill Shepherd) whose husband (Christopher McDonald) is killed shortly after learning she is pregnant. We then see the husband in heaven letting the powers that be know that he was taken too soon and that his wife needs him. He is told he can return to earth but not as himself. Flashforward 19 years where we see Shepherd's daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson) preparing to graduate from college and encountering a young man (Robert Downey Jr.)who, it turns out is the reincarnation of her father. The film is a little on the predictable side...the story goes all the places you expect it to, but it is so charmingly played by an energetic cast (especially Shepherd and Downey) that you can't help but get wrapped up in the fun. Shepherd has rarely been seen on screen to better advantage and she and Downey are backed by a talented group of character actors in supporting roles. A lovely and charming fantasy that will engulf and enchant you.
25 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very enjoyable!
Cherob6 January 2002
I saw 'Chances Are' with Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal, Robert Downey, Jr. and Mary Stuart Masterson today on cable, after having seen it many times before. I've always liked it. I liked the plotline of a loved one returning in another's body and being able to express earlier unsaid feelings and take care of 'unfinished business' in a warmhearted and comedic way. Yes, it's a total fantasy, but still, we can dream! I like all of the principal actors and find Robert Downey Jr. adorable. The music was also very enjoyable, as Johnny Mathis sings the title tune (obviously : ) ), and the theme-'After All'- written by Tom Snow and performed by Cher and Peter Cetera, has a great sound. This wouldn't be on the top of my list for rentals, but if you catch it on tv or cable, I think you'll enjoy it.
25 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Charming Romantic Comedy
harry-7619 April 2004
Writers Perry and Randy Howze crafted a very engaging little story in "Chances Are."

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.
20 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Sweet, romantic and funny
preppy-319 November 2001
A charming romantic comedy. The plot is a little too complicated--I tried to summarize it three times and I can't. Suffice to say it's worth seeing. The movie is funny, beautiful--the plot is totally unrealistic but it works. Everybody in the movie is so nice and everything looks so great--it creates a sweet, romantic feel through the entire film.

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.
17 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great comedy/romance...
awild24 July 2005
Nay Sayers of this film are likely bitter from some seriously unrequited love. This is a great film for anyone capable of understanding Johnny Mathis's song, or any song from that era: Bobby Darin's, Beyond the Sea... or Stan Getz's, The Girl From Ipanema, et al...

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.

'Alan
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
One of my all time FAVES!!
jawsprettywoman27 July 2001
Yes, I'm sentimental & schmaltzy!! But this movie (and it's theme song) remain one of my all time greats!! Robert Downey Jr. does such justice to the role of "Louis Jeffries" reincarnated and the storyline (although far-fetched) is romantic & makes one believe in happy endings!!
20 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Delightful Romantic Comedy
claudio_carvalho2 April 2019
The lawyer Louie (Christopher McDonald) and the museum curator Corinne (Cybill Shepherd) are in love with each other. Corinne is pregnant and Louis schedules to have dinner in a restaurant with his beloved wife. However, a car hits him and he dies. He awakes in heaven and asks to reincarnate a.s.a.p. to be with Corinne. However the angel forgets to erase his memory when he returns to Earth. Twenty-three years later, Corinne has not forgotten Louis; she has a daughter, Miranda (Mary Stuart Masterson) that is in law school; and Louis´ best friend Philip (Ryan O'Neal) is close to the family. One day, Alex (Robert Downey Jr), who is Louis´ reincarnation, stumbles upon Miranda and fells attracted for her. She invites him to meet her family and he sees Corinne, bringing recollection and the feelings of his previous life. What will Alex do?

"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")
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A love like no other
blackberrybabe9 July 2004
Another Downey must-see! If you are an obsessed fan like me, you have got to see this movie! He plays Alex Finch, a 22 year old Yale grad who realizes that the life he just came into is the life he left 26 years earlier. Alex is the re-incarnation of Louie Jeffries, a no-nonsense lawyer happily married to Corrine (Cybil Sheppard). Louie is killed on their one-year anniversary when he is hit by a car. He demands to go back, only this time in the body of Alex Finch. Enter Robert Downey Jr., a lot of confusion, and a lot of laughs.

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.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Chances Are is a fine film.
emurray-220 April 2001
Chances Are uses that marvelous song by the same name throughout the film. Robert Downey, Jr. is excellent in this movie. His extra large eyes and wonderfully variable facial expressions are part of expertise in acting as different people in diverse films. Compare Robert Downey, Jr. in Chaplin. You will enjoy Chances Are. I did.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very touching show
simoncsk27 May 2003
Seen it... felt that it is a very nice and touching show..

A beautiful love / comedy.. Highly recommended for all.. Very funny too...
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
I found it weird. But I liked it.
applexfungus29 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I love cheesy romance movies. They make me giddy. Expcually Robert Downey, Jr.'s other movie 'Only You'. I got that movie in a combo DVD with 'Chances Are'. I watched it for the first time and found it strange and weird. It's like incest but its not. Because RDJ's character, Alex, is Louie reincarnated and Louie is Miranda's father and Alex is in love with Miranda, and since he remembers his old life as Louie he loves his past widowed wife. It sounds strange, and I've heard a lot of psychics say stuff like people you know now could be you're husband/wife in the past life and now are you're brother/sister. So the more you think about it, it all ends up with Alex; a college graduate wanting to be a reporter and falling in love with a girl he met at the library.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Pretty funny film
Ghost of Caesar28 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
(ONE MINOR SPOILER)

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.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Feel Good RomCom
ramsri0073 September 2015
Chances are is a light movie with rebirth of souls as a premise. It kind of gives you a Mills & Boons kind of feel.

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.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
If I could give this 20/10 then I would jump at the chance!!
Andrew Hopper2 September 2001
I've always been a big Cybill Shepperd fan, ever since I saw her series a few years ago!! This film certainly shows her in her best light yet!! The film was so wonderfully cast and played!! Every now and again she drops little amusing lines, just to make this film one of the best I've ever seen!! Everybody really out does themselves!! Especially Robert Downey Jr and Cybill Shepperd, they really made the film come true!! Also I loved the little bit where Mavis loses her wig and she nearly dies when she falls to the floor!! This is film at its best!!
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
It would be good, if not the ending
snowdancing17 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
First I liked that movie. It seemed to me a nice comedy with some silly moments. The costume designer Albert Wolsky did his best!!! The same as wonderful set decorator Robert R. Benton - this man really had a very good taste!!! But the script writers disappointed me extremely. The best ending would be the scene on the ladder, but instead of it, they decided that the father and his daughter should be together. Don't like the ending. The father becomes boyfriend of his own daughter and his ex-wife knows about it and finds it alright. It would be OK, if the scriptwriters would for example say that now there is a different soul in the body, but they did not, they only deprived him of memories. The actors were good, they were really funny. Cybill Shepherd was charming, Robert Downey Jr. was very funny in the dancing scene : )))... But some of the moments spoil even the impression of good acting. For example, Corinne Jeffries, played by Cybill Shepherd after the death of her husband was waiting for him 23 years (it's a long time!), she was true to him, she loved nobody but him, and when she met him and was just about making love to him, after a scene with her friend Philip Train (Ryan O'Neal), she very easily betrayed the man she was longing for so many years!!! It would be a good movie, if not the ending and some missed human psychology.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Charming romantic movie, wonderfully done by cast
trpdean20 November 2001
I've just seen this movie for the second time on television. It's lovely, warm, sentimental, very very romantic. I've rarely seen actors better able to reveal by their movements and gestures love for another -Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal, Robert Downey,Jr. and especially Mary Stuart Masterson simply outdo themselves. Masterson probably has the hardest role and is just adorable.

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.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Funny film with a CUTE Robert Downey Jr
alis-padkin3 January 2003
I thought this film would be a bit rubbish but I found it really funny. I am a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr so I knew I would like it but I think I would have liked it anyway. It does have a really strange ending I think, But a happy one. I would recommend it to anyone really who has good taste!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A pleasant fantasy comedy that's aided by the performances of a strong cast
soranno9 November 2002
A married couple (Cybill Shepherd, Christopher McDonald) remain extremely faithful to one another throughout their marriage but their happiness is cut short by McDonald's accidental death. Shepherd is devastated and her husband's best friend (Ryan O'Neal) serves as her only other male companion. O'Neal has strong romantic feelings for Shepherd and would like to fill in her empty nest but he only wants to pursue it if he's sure that Shepherd is ready for it as well. One night, Shepherd's teenaged daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson) invites a friend (Robert Downey Jr.) over for dinner. A heavenly mix up causes McDonald's spirit to be inside Downey's body and he and Shepherd are brought back together by fate much to O'Neal's chagrin. A fairly amusing romantic fantasy comedy that works in spite of its sometimes hokey plot.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fabulous
AEX Sara10 July 2002
I happened to catch this movie on tv during a lazy day at home and I just couldn't turn it off. I had never even heard of this movie before I watched it but I now like it so much that I'm going to go out and buy it. Robert Downey Jr. is just so fun to watch in anything, especially a romantic comedy. His performance just keeps your eyes glued to the screen. I thought I had seen every 80's movie made but I somehow missed this wonderful movie. See it!! If you're looking for a warm, romantic comedy, you will not be disappointed!!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Chances Are, this is a funny film *^.^*
athenian_oracle10 April 2002
I recently bumped into this film by chance after a friend back in 1990 briefly mentioned it but couldn't remember the title of the movie or who acted in it (we were 9, such details weren't so important then).

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.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This is my all time favorite!
Gambit_116 August 2001
This movie is the best movie ever! It has been my favorite ever since i was little! There is a song, which has the same title as the movie which is played throughout the movie, this song is so romantic that i am having this song as my first dance at our wedding! If you are looking for a funny/romantic movie then this is it! The cast alone tells you how fabulous this movie is! Robert Downey, JR., Cybill Shepherd, and Mary Stewart Masterson are all wonderful and charming in this all around great movie! Please, please, please watch it for your self and you will see!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Sweet song, sweet movie. Nothing more or less.
Clothes-Off27 September 2007
What a loss the passing of director Emile Ardolino was! He could take a light script and, with the right casting and editing, put a twinkle in it and make it shine like a star. This particular star may not be the brightest in the sky as great romances go, but it is definitely one that keeps you tuned in to the end. You really want to know how things are going to work out.

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!
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Chances Are You Might Hate This, Too
ccthemovieman-128 April 2006
Chances are if I watched this again I might get physically sick, the film is so annoying.....unless you believe in psychics, re-incarnation and the other hocus- pocus which this promotes big-time. The "re-cycling of souls," they call it here. Puh-leeze.

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.
15 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Chances Are You Are Wasting Your Time
jlangbert31 August 2002
Predictable plot. Simple dialogue. Shockingly unemotional performances. But Robert Downey, Jr. is so cute, I gave this "poor man's afternoon special" a 3 instead of the 1 or 2 it so richly deserved.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed