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City of Angels
1998 - PG-13 - Mins.
Director: Brad Silberling
Producer: Dawn Steel, Charles Roven
Written By: Dana Stevens, Wim Wenders
Starring: Meg Ryan, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Franz, Andre Braugher, Colm Feore
Review by: John Ulmer
Angels coming down to Earth is nothing new. We’ve seen it before in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Clarence,” “Michael”…

Now, another angel-on-earth movie has been made; it is about surgeon Meg Ryan and angel Nicolas Cage falling in love (blah).

Meg Ryan plays Maggie, a successful surgeon with a life that she doesn’t know can get any better or worse; Nicolas Cage plays “Seth Plate,” a fallen angel who, once he starts to fall in love with Maggie, seriously thinks about giving up his angel powers to become human, like Denis Franz’s character in the film.

The problem with this movie is that it can’t help but fall into the supernatural-romance clichés, or any romantic clichés, at that. We know what’s going to happen, and the film drags it out until we are asleep.

First of all, the movie is way-y-y too long for its own good; the dialogue is nothing rich, the characters never have any kind of real development, and…well…that all leads to a boring story.

Nic Cage gives a good performance, but it seemed a bit watered down – more than usual. His expressions are typical Cage; lifeless, like a statue: but I don’t mind that, because I happen to think Nicolas Cage is a good actor. He might seem dull to some, but I think that he has a “boring talent,” as in he’s very normal. He plays very average characters, and seems much more human in most of his roles than some of the action heroes on the scene. Perhaps that’s why his performance as something supernatural didn’t quite fit like a glove. However, I still think he was a good choice for the character; no one can tell me he wasn’t good when he was discovering what humans feel, how things taste, etc…

Meg Ryan is her typical-self. The high-pitched voice, the short-cut hair, the cutesy-tutesy looks that remind of us a child. No one can hate her. Plus, she’s a good actress, if a bit repetitive in her acting (her characters often seem the same; I think that’s just because she either likes to play those characters, or can’t act as other characters. I’m not sure)… I think her best role was in “Sleepless in Seattle,” and her character is very much the same her: very down-to-earth, yet dreaming of very romantic fantasies: hoping for “true love” and so on and so forth. She was a good choice for the character.

Denis Franz has a small role as an angel-turned-human, and he handles the role well; he is believable, likeable and completely forgettable (sorry, Franz).

Overall, “City of Angels” runs a bit too much on the corny, clichéd side than on the original side, making it almost as forgettable as Ben Affleck’s haircut in “Daredevil.”

Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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