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Film / Mr. Destiny

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Mr. Destiny is a 1990 comedy about Larry Burrows (James Belushi), a simple man living in the suburbs working a menial job in a large company, along with his wife, Ellen (Linda Hamilton), and his best friend, Clip (Jon Lovitz). The pressures and misfortunes begin to weigh on Larry, and he attributes his woes to having missed a ball at a high school baseball game.

As Larry regales his troubles at a bar while waiting for a tow for his broken car, the bartender Mike (Michael Caine) mixes him a special drink. This drink turns time on its side and sends Larry to an alternate reality where not only did he hit that winning ball, but he's advanced in his company, is filthy rich, and is married to the boss' daughter (Rene Russo).

Now everything is perfect. Larry hasn't a care or fret in the world now that he's wealthy and powerful...right? Rriiiiight?

This film provides examples of:

  • Fake Better Alternate Timeline: This film subverts the It's a Wonderful Plot trope in a way that fits this trope; Jim Belushi's character always bemoaned the fact that he blew a game-saving play in high-school baseball, and Caine changed history so that he made the game-saver instead. Belushi then sees his life changing; he's now the Vice-President of the sporting goods company he's working for, and married to the boss's daughter, but it turns out he's having an affair with a psychotic temptress, and his real wife from his old life (Hamilton), the one woman he truly loved, is married to someone else.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Very similar to the classic It's a Wonderful Life; however, instead of removing the main character from existence, a single event is changed to drastically change the course of his life (and others' lives).
  • Temporal Paradox: Of a sort. Larry is only able to avoid disaster for the company in his normal world with knowledge gained exclusively from an alternate timeline. If he'd learned to appreciate what he already had in the first place, then chances are things would not have gone south in the normal universe.