Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chances Are (1989) [PG] ****

Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd) and her husband Louie (Christopher McDonald) have the perfect marriage. They're young, in love, and about to have a baby. Louie is an attorney and his best friend Philip (Ryan O'Neal) is a journalist. Then Corinne and Louie's blissful life is shattered when Louie is killed in an auto accident. Desperate to get back to Corinne, Louie agrees to be reincarnated as Alex Finch (Robert Downey Jr.) but, in the process, he doesn't get his memory-erasing injection.

Fast-forward twenty-three years and Alex has just graduated from Yale. While applying for a job at the Washington Post he meets Philip, and through him, Corinne and her daughter Miranda (Mary Stuart Masterson). While in the Jeffries home, Alex begins to see images of Corinne, Louie and Philip together, and his memory of his life as Louie begins to return. Corinne, who has never gotten over Louie, and still cooks for him, is attracted to Alex, but doesn't understand her feelings for him. Philip, who has always been in love with Corinne, is not happy about Alex taking the place in Corinne's heart that he hoped would be his. And Alex realizes that Miranda is falling in love with him... her reincarnated father.

This is a wonderful story about wishing for your soul mate for twenty-three years, and having that wish fulfilled. The screenplay is humorous, fast-paced and inventive; the direction and editing are creative; the cinematography is beautiful, and the soundtrack is evocative. Robert Downey Jr. is brilliant as Louie reincarnated as Alex, and Cybill Shepherd has unique romantic chemistry with each of the three male leads. The casting is inspired, and they all clearly had fun making this film. If you enjoy light romantic comedy about love and destiny, films like Heart and Souls and Only You - both starring Robert Downey Jr., as well as Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, then I predict you will really enjoy Chances Are.

Labels: college, comedy, fantasy, romance, wedding
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=57, viewers=68)