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Film / The Heavenly Kid

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The Heavenly Kid is a 1985 American romantic comedy fantasy directed by Cary Medoway.

A greaser (Lewis Smith), who died in the 1960s, becomes a guardian angel for a lonely teen (Jason Gedrick) in order for the greaser to gain access to the afterlife.

The movie also stars Jane Kaczmarek, Richard Mulligan, Mark Metcalf, Beau Dremann, and Nancy Valen.

It was released on July 26, 1985.

Tropes for the film:

  • Afterlife Antechamber: Bobby dies in a "chicken" race, and winds up in "Mid-town". He has to ride the Mid-town train before going "Up-town". He is on the train until his case work comes up, which takes about 18 years Earth-time. Seems he left a pregnant girlfriend and their son is following the same path as he did. When he offers to go "Down-town" in his son's place, it earns him the place Up-town.
  • Afterlife Express: Bobby dies and is immediately transported to a mysterious subway train taking him to the afterlife.
  • Auto Erotica: Lenny and Sharon engage in this on their first date together.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: When Bobby is killed in The '60s and is stuck in "Midtown", and he has to perform some kind of deed before he can go "Uptown". And it turns out that he has to play guardian angel to Lenny, his son with his former girlfriend.
  • The Bully: Fred Gallo.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I've got it covered" (said by Bobby initially, and later by Lenny to indicate that everything is under control).
    • "A lot of changes" (said by Bobby whenever he witnesses something in the 80s which is different to the 60's).
  • Costume-Test Montage: In a Shopping Montage, Lenny tries on various outfits for Bobby's approval.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: How Bobby reacts to the 1980s. The music, fashions and even the places he knew have all changed since the 1960s.
  • Game of Chicken: The cliff variant is how Bobby dies in the opening scene, and towards the end he learns his son Lenny is fated to die in the same way.
  • Gay Bar Reveal: Bobby takes Lenny to one of his old hangouts so that Lenny can pick up chicks there. Turns out it's a gay bar now.
  • Healthy in Heaven: The elderly woman suffering from smoking is told before going Uptown that her cough and other ailments will vanish when she arrives up there.
  • Hub Level: "Midtown", acting as a rest stop for souls of the dead before they go to Heaven ("Uptown")or Hell ("Downtown").
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Midtown also has a bar and restaurant that never closes for people present there to eat, drink and relax.
  • Insistent Terminology: Purgatory and Limbo is referred to as Midtown, Fire and Brimstone Hell is Downtown and Fluffy Cloud Heaven is Uptown.
  • Mentor Archetype: Rafferty to Bobby.
  • Oh, Crap!: Understandably, Bobby's "Oh, shit!" as his car goes over the cliff in the opening scene.
  • Purgatory and Limbo: The whole premise of the film is Bobby being stuck in Purgatory (referred to as "Midtown") and needing to carry out an assignment back on Earth to earn his ticket "Uptown" to Heaven.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: In the afterlife, everyone wears the clothes that they were wearing when they died, resulting in an eclectic mix of outfits, including historical costumes on the people who have been there a while.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The whole opening with Bobby dying in a crash from a "chicken" race is a recreation of the similar scene from Rebel Without a Cause. One of the characters even wears a red jacket!
    • After hearing 1980s music, Bobby remarks whatever happened to Elvis Presley and gets told that Elvis went Uptown.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Bobby and later Lenny signify their coolness by smoking.
  • Smoky Voice: After Bobby dies, the woman behind him on the train starts coughing and asks in the raspiest voice imaginable "Got a light?" Later, this woman is told by attendants on the escalator going Uptown that her bodily ailments from her smoking will vanish when she arrives above. This does prompt Bobby to really want to go but he is barred.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Occurs when Lenny throws up on Bobby's leather jacket.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Bobby dies in what looks very much like The '50s and has a teenage son in The '80s, which is mathematically impossible. In an apparent attempt to mitigate this problem, an onscreen title declares that the opening scene actually takes place in the early '60s, which is as late as it can be pushed before all the '50s fashions and whatnot become ridiculously outdated. And even that still leaves a gap of three or four years between Bobby's death and Lenny's conception. Really, the opening should be set in the late '60s, but of course, it can't be because then it wouldn't make sense for Bobby to be a greaser.