HEART AND SOULS (1993) 

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Robert Downey Jr.
Elisabeth Shue
Charles Grodin
Alfre Woodard
Kyra Sedgwick
Tom Sizemore
David Paymer
Bill Calvert
Lisa Lucas

Ron Underwood



Time: 93 mins.
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Fantasy

SYNOPSIS: A businessman is reunited with the four lost souls who were his guardian angels during childhood, all with a particular purpose to joining the afterlife.

BOTTOM LINE: I hate to admit that I watch this movie whenever I get the chance, but this site is all about honesty, so I'll tell the truth. I love this movie. I can't give it a great rating, because it's not a great movie, but there's just something about the story that just hits me in the gut. It has some pretty funny moments as well. Basically, it's about redemption and discovering what the important things are in life. I don't want you to think this story is all that deep, however, I think for a lot of people it will strike a cord. The film starts with a bus crash – I know, not inherently funny – that kills everyone on board. Instead of going to their eternal destinations, four souls (played by Sedgwick, Woodard, Sizemore, and Grodin) get trapped in between and find themselves attached to a baby named Charlie. Wherever Charlie goes they must follow. Instead of hiding themselves from him they become his best friends, raising him as if he were there own – for better or worse.

His parents, unable to understand what's happening to their son, send him to a shrink who believes Charlie is crazy and recommends sending him away if he can't admit that the "friends" he sees aren't real. Realizing their presence did more harm than good, they "disappear", leaving Charlie "alone" for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, for them they still have to live every moment of his life with him. The trauma of their abandonment turns Charlie from a sweet little boy into a self-centered, unfeeling man. They are excited when they finally believe he's settling down with a wonderful woman (Shue), but he just can't commit to her because he's ultimately afraid she's going to leave him as well. Not willing to let her get away, the group reappears to the adult Charlie (Downey Jr.). At first he refuses to accept what he sees, but after they prove to him they're real they settle back into their old relationship. They begin by giving him all sorts of advice about his relationship with Ann.

"Funny. You're killing me, you're really killing me. Oh yeah, I'm already dead. I forgot."

Unfortunately for the group, their time to move on has come and they still have things left undone. No one told them they were supposed to settle their unfinished business through Charlie years ago. With time running out, he eventually helps them realize their dreams before they pass on to their next lives. Everything ends happily, of course, though they do get into some sticky situations. This film would be sickeningly sweet if it weren't for the wonderful acting from the entire cast. These are all very talented people who ground these characters into reality. Downey Jr. is incredibly funny, using his physical prowess and comedic talent to full advantage in this role. He is constantly invaded by one spirit or another and he gets their mannerisms down perfectly. Even the special effects are pretty good. If you'd like to spend time watching an uplifting and funny story about life and love this is one to check out.

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