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Film / Chances Are

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A 1989 American romantic comedy directed by Emile Ardolino that has a happily married man (Christopher McDonald) is killed and he tries to get back with his wife (Cybill Shepherd) after being reincarnated while trying to fight off his attraction to his daughter (Mary Stuart Masterson).

The film also stars Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal, Josef Sommer, Joe Grifasi, Henderson Forsythe, Fran Ryan, James Noble, and Marc McClure.

It was released on March 10, 1989.

Tropes for the film:

  • Death Amnesia: Played with when Louie jumps the reincarnation line and doesn't get the "forget-your-life" shot. Twenty years later, he keeps having deja vu of things in his now-girlfriend (daughter of his former self)'s house. Later, when recovering in a hospital, the angel who was supposed to give him the shot manages to slip it to him and he no longer has the deja vu feelings.
  • Reincarnation: Louie reincarnates to romance his widow as Alex.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Subverted when Louie dies, but concocts a way to be reborn instantly. Unfortunately, the hasty reincarnation means that his reincarnation, Alex, will still have all memories of Louie's life. 23 years later after Louie's death, the memories come crashing down on Alex just as he begins a romance with Louie's daughter Miranda. He naturally cuts it off in favor of the mother/widow Corrrine, much to the chagrin of Louie's best friend Phillip, who has loved Corrine this whole time and has helped her raise Miranda. Hilarity Ensues. However, Louie realizes that he's had his time with Corrine, and her clinging to his memory is stopping her from having a relationship with Phillip. Alex is accidentally knocked unconscious and during that time the angel that didn't get a chance to remove Louie's memories between his death and reincarnation catches up with Alex, performing the removal. When Alex Wakes up, the last thing he remembers is kissing Miranda (which was literally right before Louie's memories emerged). He and Miranda get back together. Strangely, Corrine and Phillip know that Alex is Louie reincarnated, but are still cool with Alex and Miranda (who doesn't know) being together.
  • Unfinished Business: Has Louie being hit by a car after taking pictures proving that a judge is taking bribes. He also finds out that his wife is pregnant before this. At the Pearly Gates, he convinces the angels to let him cut the line and go back. They agree but, in a rush, forget to administer an injection that would erase any memory of past life. He is reborn into a new baby but without any memories. Later he ends up meeting a girl, Miranda, and goes to meet her mother and her mother's boyfriend. Then memories start flashing back, and he remembers that her mother is his widow, and her daughter is his daughter, and her mother's boyfriend is his best friend. Hilarity Ensues when he tries to hit on his widow while refusing advances from his daughter. Eventually, he's able to complete his business by publicly exposing the corrupt judge. He ends up hitting his head and ends up in a hospital, allowing an angel, dressed as male nurse, to administer the memory-wiping injection. He wakes up remembering everything up to the moment when his old memories came back, which was kissing Miranda (who is now simply his Love Interest). In the end, Phillip marries Corrine and Alex admits he loves Miranda.