What Dreams May Come
So many sad, woeful people are finding their sole spiritual solace in shows like "Touched by an Angel" that it was only a matter of time before some Hollywood type with all the imagination of Phil Gramm after a lithium overdose would decide to set an entire movie in heaven.
Five bucks says that director Vincent ("Map of the Human Heart") Ward was one of those kids in school who farmer-blew into the donations jar during his trip to the art museum and as punishment was forced by his teacher to spend the entire day in the Cubist wing while the other kids got to check out the Impressionists. Now, he's going to show them.
If you're Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams), heaven looks like a Monet or a Van Gogh because you're really into painting. Unfortunately, your wife, Annie (Annabella Sciorra), can't accompany you to heaven because she didn't die in the car crash you did. Having lost her kids and now you, Annie becomes distraught and kills herself, making it impossible for her to ever join you in the place where everybody's happy. Thus, you must travel to hell and save her because you know your love is so strong that it's possible because, well, your love is just that damn strong, damn it!
This film is typical religious pap -- true believers get to have everything both ways. Let's look at the fact here: Annie kills herself. She's in hell. I don't care how much Chris wants her back -- hell is not like New Jersey. You just can't just get on a bus and leave.
If I had a choice between having Roger Ebert sit on my face and watching this film again I'd have old Roger -- oh, screw that. Who am I kidding? I'd watch this film again... and again and again -- but I'd at least give Roger a brief moment of consideration. Real brief.
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