Day 70: 'Heaven Can Wait'

'Heaven Can Wait'

Ten weeks down, one month to go - the finish line is almost - yet not quite - in sight! Day 70 is another one of those grueling double plays where I watch an evening show, write a post and then head to a midnight screening for the next day's movie...this time so I can finish that post in time to make my friend Danijela's farewell celebration tomorrow. It's sort of like running a relay - except you just continually pass the baton to yourself.

I take inspiration tonight from Warren Beatty, the hero of Heaven Can Wait. In the movie, Beatty stars as pro football player Joe Pendleton, who, being taken from the earth before his time, is returned from the heavens in the body of millionaire Leo Farnsworth, whereupon he manages to do lots of good deeds, and falls for luminous Julie Christie as activist Betty Logan.

Honestly, it's been more than 30 years since I've seen the movie in its entirety. Back then, when I was kindergartener age, I just remember watching it with my folks over and over on HBO, being captivated by the score by Dave Grusin (nominated for an Oscar along with 10 other noms for the film) and thinking Warren Beatty is a cool guy to emulate - he can throw a mean spiral, he's nice to everyone around him, and he's able to talk to angels.

Now, I'm just amazed at big Warren's stamina. He doesn't just star in the movie as someone who takes on the guise of three different people, but he's also the film's producer, co-writer (with Elaine May) and co-director (with Buck Henry). Name any other A-lister nowadays with that sort of pedigree...George Clooney...that's about it...

I guess you would call Heaven Can Wait a sports comedy. Or sports rom-com? Either way, it holds up as a gem of a film with a winning leading man and lady, and smarts to go along with its brawny action. Let me know below some of your other favorite sports comedies, or sports rom coms (I'm partial to the underrated The Replacements). For now, I'm off to follow Beatty's lead, and do some jumping jacks before running to the midnight show of Inception.

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