The whimsical comedy-romance Heaven Can Wait is a delightful example of the small sub-genre of afterlife comedies. The film, which teams then lovers Warren Beatty and Julie Christie for a third time following McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) and Shampoo (1975), is not a remake of the 1943 supernatural film of the same name, but of the Robert Montgomery classic Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941). Here Beatty is American football player Joe Pendleton, who accidentally dies, decades too early, and is incarnated in a new body which, until recently, was occupied by a ruthless multi-millionaire.... James Mason is superb as a most authoritative angel (Mr Jordan), heading a fine cast including Charles Grodin, Buck Henry and Jack Warden. In a sub-plot paralleling The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and revisited in You've Got Mail (1998), Julie Christie plays an English woman outraged that one of the former millionaire's companies is destroying her village, while simultaneously falling in love with the man now occupying the hated millionaire's mortal coil. Much comic and romantic misunderstanding follows, as well as some appealing slapstick, courtesy of Dyan Cannon. Aided by a lovely musical score by Dave Grusin, this is a beautifully played and thoroughly charming bittersweet fantasy about the transcendent power of love. It is a joy for romantics everywhere. On the DVD: Heaven Can Wait comes to DVD in a good 1.77:1 ratio transfer which exhibits just a little grain in some darker scenes. The print shows some very minor, occasional damage, but nothing to complain about in a film of this vintage. The sound is the original mono mix, which is perfectly serviceable. The only extra is the theatrical trailer. --Gary S Dalkin [show more]
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