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Michael

Hollywood's perennial fascination with Earth-bound angels gets a cornball comic twist in Ephron's shaggy-dog story about a pair of Chicago hacks and a self-professed 'angel expert' dispatched to Field of Dreams country to find a dotty old lady who claims the Archangel Michael is living at her Iowa motel. And yes, he has wings. What they find is a portly, stubble-chinned seraph (Travolta) who, in the course of a cross-country car journey to Chicago, reveals his God-given wisdom by smoking, drinking, brawling and seducing women. Since they work for a tabloid obsessed with alien invaders and human freaks, washed-up cynic Frank Quinlan (Hurt) and his feckless partner Huey Driscoll (Pastorelli) are unimpressed. But Michael isn't going to waste his last trip to Earth trying to convert non-believers. Instead, he redeems thrice-divorced, former romantic Dorothy (MacDowell) and ex-alcoholic Frank by helping them to fall in love with one another. Which leaves Huey to do what he does best: look after the paper's mongrel mascot Sparky and feed off the scraps of dialogue thrown to him by the other characters. One senses a tension between the original screenplay, by reporter Jim Quinlan and novelist Pete Dexter, and the whimsical gloss given it by Ephron and her sister/co-writer Delia. The result's a series of funny, sentimental, self-contained turns. The storyline, meanwhile, wanders aimlessly.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nora Ephron
Screenwriter: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Pete Dexter, Jim Quinlan
Cast: John Travolta
Andie MacDowell
William Hurt
Bob Hoskins
Robert Pastorelli
Jean Stapleton
Teri Garr
Calvin Trillin
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