“12,000 babies will be born in the United States today. Two will already have fallen in love”.
In Made in Heaven, Timothy Hutton plays a young guy in 1946 who’s just been dumped by his girl and decides to go to California.
On his way, he rescues a family from a car that’s driven into a lake and drowns in the process.
He finds himself in heaven where he meets Kelly McGillis, a soul who’s never been born on Earth. The two fall in love, but McGillis gets sent to Earth to be born.
Hutton pleads with Emmett (God’s right-hand man) who finally agrees to give Hutton 30 years on Earth to find McGillis and continue their love.
On a number of occasions, their paths almost cross, but, as the clock runs down, they keep bouncing away from each other. Will they ever meet again and stay together in love forever?
This 1987 Alan Rudolph film teeters on the edge of cheesiness but maintains a delicate, sweet, and affecting tone. McGillis is good, but Hutton is superb, demonstrating an honest charisma that makes him engaging even when he’s being a jerk.
The depiction of heaven avoids the patronising, overdone joyfulness that too many movies fall into. Though the idea sounds like pure saccharine, Made in Heaven consistently sidesteps the obvious and comes up with something genuine.
The film features Debra Winger (in drag) playing the male role of Emmett, and an uncredited Ellen Barkin, as well as cameos by rock stars Neil Young, Ric Ocasek, and Tom Petty.
Mike Shea/Elmo Barnett
Annie Packert/Ally Chandler
Guy Blanchard/Brian Dalton
Willard E. Pugh