Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1990. Warner Bros., Amblin Entertainment. Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley. Cinematography by Stephen Goldblatt. Produced by Teri Schwartz. Music by Georges Delerue, Peter Gordon. Production Design by Bo Welch. Costume Design by Colleen Atwood, Robert Chase, Sue Moore. Film Editing by Richard Halsey, Kenneth Wannberg.
Oscar-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck) makes an ill-conceived directorial debut with this forgettable comedy. Tom Hanks plays a corporate drone who finds out from his doctor that he has a terminal illness and will die within months. Immediately following this he is approached by strange men who tell him that they will pay him boatloads of money if he will travel to an exotic island and sacrifice himself into a volcano to appease a native tribe’s religious beliefs. Deciding that he has lived a small life long enough, Hanks goes for the job and enjoys a few months of luxury living before he must finally end it all. Along the way he meets a beautiful heiress (Meg Ryan) with whom he falls in love and for whom he eventually acquires a desire to live. Ryan is delightful, playing not only the lead but appearing as two other characters of the film with totally different personalities. Though both stars have a great time, and the scenery is exotic, the story is flat and never really amounts to anything.