Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA/Australia/Germany/Canada, 2001. 3 Arts Entertainment, Alphaville Films, CHS Productions, Made To Love Productions, Munich Film Partners & Company GHS Productions, NPV Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures. Screenplay by Chris Rock, Lance Crouther, Ali LeRoi, Louis C.K., based on the screenplay Heaven Can Wait by Warren Beatty, Elaine May. Cinematography by Richard Crudo. Produced by Sean Daniel, James Jacks, Michael Rotenberg. Music by Jamshied Sharifi. Production Design by Paul Peters. Costume Design by Debrae Little. Film Editing by Priscilla Nedd-Friendly.
For some reason, Chris Rock hasn’t been able to transfer his terrific comedy style to the big screen with satisfying results. This terrible remake of the Warren Beatty film Heaven Can Wait (which itself was remade from 1941’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan) is a perfect case in point, a clumsy and awkward romantic comedy that softens up Rock’s take-no-prisoners comedy style too much and never fully allows him to take over his character (no pun intended). He plays a bad comedian who dies in a bicycle accident only to be told by the powers that be that he was actually killed sooner than heaven meant to take him. Now he needs to stay on earth, but his guardian angel (Chazz Palminteri) has to find him a new body. He does, and it is the recently deceased corpse of a multi-millionaire whose wife (Jennifer Coolidge) recently tried to kill him. Rock revitalizes the old man’s previous existence, giving more money to charity, increasing his servants’ salaries and befriending a public health nurse (Regina King) with whom he eventually falls in love. Then he’s told by heaven above that his days are numbered, and now what will he do with the new life that he’s built up? Rock could definitely be a movie star, but this vehicle, and the even more atrocious Head Of State, are poor attempts and bely his vast talents.