Monday, July 7, 2008

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven, a movie

After this movie was over, I felt - cheated. Years ago I saw another movie with Jon Voight and Ricky Schroeder that made me feel the same way. Because I felt emotion, I cried (at the earlier one) but I didn't like the movie. I felt manipulated, like maybe there had been subliminal messages embedded in the movie, shots of puppies being killed or something. Because I didn't think the story warranted the way I felt. It wasn't that good of a movie.

That's how I felt after this movie. Jon Voight plays Eddie, the maintenance guy at a carnival. Or fun park - Ruby Park - a permanent park with rides and side shows. He's there for years - I'm guessing he was older than 75 when he died, but they never said. The plot is that after he died, he met 5 people who had already died from whom he was to learn something before he could enter Heaven.

It's not really a spoiler to say that the point was his life affected so many others and he didn't even realize it. His work touched souls and had meaning. Well, as much meaning as anyone else's, I guess, was the point. So he kept rides safe at his park so that all the people who rode them were safe, even though he did things in his life that caused death for others.

I kept thinking his assent to Heaven was really Hell - the 5 people he met really did not have anything uplifting to say. A man died of a heart attack after swerving his car to miss 5-yr-old Eddie. An army buddy (WWII) died while the 2 were in captivity in the Phillipines. I don't know, I sorta thought someone going to Heaven would feel better about it. He's reunited with his wife, who died before him, but then she's taken away. Cheap shots like that, ones that bring emotions to the surface but don't really make you feel better....

Well he finally does make it to what is supposed to be his Heaven, but I say the movie should be called The 5 People Eddie Met in Heaven.

It just wasn't that good.

2 stars.

No comments: