Title: 25th Anniversary Edition – Chances Are
Director: Emile Ardolino
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O’Neal, Mary Stuart Masterson, Christopher McDonald
Running Time: 108 minutes, Rated PG, Available 04.22.14
Special Features: None
It’s the 25th anniversary of the film and now it’s being released on Blu-ray. I don’t really understand why they release old movies on Blu-ray unless it’s something really visually spectacular, but I guess it’s for those disc snobs who don’t buy anything unless it’s in the more expensive format.
The movie is as good as I remember. Hey kids, don’t you want to see what Tony Stark looked like back in the 80’s? God I feel old.
It’s the story of Louie Jeffries (Happy Gilmore’s Shooter McGavin AKA Christopher McDonald) and his wife Corinne (Cybill Shepherd) who have just reached their 1 year anniversary. She reveals she’s pregnant, they celebrate and he has to go to work. He takes some pictures of a corrupt judge and plans to disclose them, but first he needs to meet his young bride for dinner. Oops, he gets hit by a car and dies.
Louie’s soul goes to heaven and he pleads with the “angels” that he needs to get back to earth. It’s supposed to be heaven, why are there condescending assholes in heaven?! They tell him the only way back is to be reborn, so he runs off without getting his “forget your past life” inoculation. Cut to 23 years later where we meet Miranda Jeffries (Mary Stuart Masterson) who has a chance meeting with Alex Fitch (Robert Downey Jr) at Yale. He graduates, drives to Washington D.C. to attempt to get a job at the Washington Post where he meets Phillip Train (Ryan O’Neal) who is inexplicably drawn to Alex, and wants to help him out. He invites him home to dinner at his friends house which happens to be the home of the Jeffries. Alex starts having flashbacks of his former life as Louie in the house, but he brushes them off. He re-meets Miranda and feels an attraction until he meets her mother Corinne and all the memories of being Louie flood into his mind; which freaks him out understandably. The rest of the film he spends trying to push Miranda away since he realizes that’s his daughter that he made out with, tries to rekindle what was lost with Corinne, and then Phillip who has been pining for Corinne for the past 20-some years finally admits to her when Alex/Louie reveals he’s known his best friend loved her all along.
Chances Are came out when a bunch of switching bodies films exploded in the theaters (Like Father Like Son; Vice Versa; Big – to name a few) and wasn’t this same plot done 2 years prior in Meatballs III with McDreamy/Patrick Dempsey? No wait, Sally Kellerman passed through heaven but went back to earth as a sex ghost. Never mind. It’s rated PG, but is it just me or were they really lenient with the ratings back then? You don’t see anything, but sex is really implied and there’s a lot of subtle blue-ball jokes. It’s a very sweet rom-com about second chances and moving on. I watched it with my 14 year old stepdaughter and she actually liked it, which is surprising since kids seem to rebuff anything older than 2000 (and didn’t star anyone from Twilight) and she actually praised the acting by all. She did get understandably grossed out when Alex was making out with Miranda, and then still questioned their relationship since even though he eventually forgot his past life, his soul was still her father and the audience is supposed to be okay with them getting romantic because he no longer remembered being her father. Corinne was okay with her dead husband dating their daughter. If you dismiss all of that, it’s a sentimental romantic movie.
Total Rating: A
Reviewed by: JM Willis