Film: Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Heaven Can Wait is a 1978 comedy film directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry. The screenplay, by Beatty, Elaine May, and an uncredited Robert Towne, is adapted from the original stage play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall. Heaven Can Wait is a remake of the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, which was again remade in 2001 as Down To Earth, and also in 2000 with a Gender Bender twist as Ice Angel (also known as On Thin Ice in some markets).The story follows Joe Pendleton, a backup quarterback for the American football team Los Angeles Rams, who is looking forward to leading his team to the Super Bowl, when he is involved in a terrible collision with a truck. A guardian angel on his first assignment plucks Joe out of his body early in the mistaken belief that his death is imminent, and Pendleton arrives in the afterlife. It is then decided that Pendleton was taken too soon, but as it is too late to return him to his former body he is given a second chance as a millionaire who had been drowned by his lover and secretary. The film follows him taking this opportunity to life the life he missed out on.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Afterlife Antechamber: What looks like "Heaven" is only a waiting room for the final trip.
- Afterlife Express: The final trip to Heaven would have been taken aboard a Concorde SST.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: How Joe manages to convince his coach that it's really him in Leo's body.
- Berserk Button: Do not try to shut Julia up.
- Bittersweet Ending: Joe finally has the body he wants in Jarrett, but he no longer has memories of his old life, meaning that he can't remember Betty. Though the movie ends with a hopeful note that they'll fall in love again as they leave together.
- Divorce Requires Death
- It Is Not Your Time
- Lie to the Beholder
- May-December Romance: Subverted; Joe's around Betty's age, but the body he's occupying... isn't.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Julia and Tony's plans to murder Leo, though they're Played for Laughs until they succeed.
- The Remake: Both is a remake and has a remake.
- What Could Have Been: Beatty tried and failed to get Muhammad Ali to play Joe Pendleton and Cary Grant to play Mr. Jordan.