God has had just about enough of the human\'s attitude so he will destroy the planet very soon. It is up to a struggling inventor and a bank teller, both with very amateur criminal minds, to save the world...
John Travolta ... Zack
Olivia Newton-John ... Debbie
Charles Durning ... Charlie
Oliver Reed ... Beasley
Beatrice Straight ... Ruth
Scatman Crothers ... Earl
Richard Bright ... Stuart
Vincent Bufano ... Oscar
Toni Kalem ... Terri
James Stevens ... Ron
Ernie Hudson ... Det. Skaggs
Jack Kehoe ... Mr. Chotiner
Robert Costanzo ... Capt. Cinzari (as Bobby Costanzo)
There is only word one that fully does justice to this film: APPALLING.
John and Olivia were BETRAYED! WHY they would choose this movie-someone else on here said they looked through over 30 scripts before settling on this one-and why they would let this first-time director decimate their careers in this way… it\'s inexplicable. WHY anyone at any studio would take these two huge stars (though Olivia had been tarnished by Xanadu by this time) and TOSS THEIR CAREERS TO THE WIND on this turkey is… again, inexplicable. Why does this film exist?
The answer lies, I think, in Olivia\'s \'rebranding\' effort, trying to shift out of being wholesome and pure and be a bit of a vamp, which in retrospect seems like a big mistake (look what happened to Sheena Easton when she tried the same thing… and look at the continuing debacle that is Britney). Everyone loves Olivia being pure and a bit cheeky. Look how adorable she was in Grease! It is just so incongruous for her to be a bank-robbing shiftless liar that it is impossible to get involved with her character. Okay, that sounds like there is even one \'character\' in this film, but you know what I mean.
There are several compelling issues raised by this film, such as:
Why does John Travolta walk like he has a broomstick (etc…. but ALL the way in) the whole movie? Did his mother tell him his posture was bad or something?
Were general production values REALLY that low back in 1982? No wonder films are so expensive now.
WHO was the director related to that he was allowed to make this?
WHY, when Olivia\'s face is presented in the paper, in a loving 6\' X 8\' picture identifying her as a wanted bank robber, does she just walk around and attend her acting class as though nothing happened? Why does no one in her acting class mention it? Why don\'t the police show even the SLIGHTEST interest in apprehending her and recovering the money? Why doesn\'t anyone she the slightest interest?
WHY do songs on the soundtrack blare inappropriately and completely without context throughout?
There are a few notable moments that must be pointed out:
Please take note of the first shot of John Travolta in those stupendously ridiculous glasses. And it\'s only getting better…
Two words: \'I\'m Single.\'
Please note how someone offscreen obviously CHUCKS the live cat at the pots in the kitchen! This would not be allowed these days!
Though you will obviously note that \'ethnic diversity\' is being DEPLOYED in the group of angels… though it doesn\'t seem to prevent them from making the black man a bus driver!
Please admire the architectural splendor of Olivia\'s hair, and her multitude of 80\'s fashion debacles, including the green ensemble with big gold pirate belt and turned-down suede boots (as they\'re walking down the street, soon before sampling the edible sunglasses).
Note that John is drinking Red and Olivia is drinking White, obviously because the producers thought this would appear \'sophisticated.\'
Of course there\'s the \'Twist of Fate\' montage, where Olivia gets to sport the appalling sunglasses.
Olivia\'s songs here definitely lack the John Farrar touch (who had composed all of her hits heretofore) and it\'s obvious where the problem lies.
Alas, what more can be said? Oh, I know… it was only on second viewing that I noticed that John and Olivia actually DIED a third of the way through the film (because John fell on Olivia from a great height, naturally), but were brought back to life by the angels to… continue the film. Now isn\'t it kind of sad that a film-ANY film-can be so poorly directed that the main characters can DIE and you don\'t even notice?
Now if you don\'t want to watch it after reading this, I don\'t know what\'s wrong with you.
With a cast this good, it\'s natural to expect a lot more than this script could deliver. John and Olivia are reunited for the first time since Grease, and the results were a big letdown for a great many people.
Our story centers around the fact that God, played by the voice of Gene Hackman, is fed up with humanity. He\'s so tired of all the crime and bad behavior on Earth that he plans on sending another huge flood to finish us all off. Four angels (who are perhaps the best part about the film) plead with God to give humanity one more chance. God agrees, but demands to see some kind of miracle within a week or so. Apparently it will only take a couple of mere mortals (Travolta and Newton-John) sacrificing something for each other to save all of man kind. Too bad both characters are self-centered and shady. Travolta is a struggling inventor(!) who owes a fortune to a violent loan shark. Newton-John is a struggling actress who also works at a bank that Travolta plans to rob for the money to pay off his debt. Olivia tricks him and takes the money for herself, setting up contrivance after contrivance for the remaining screen time. It looks like the world will come to an end since neither character trusts the other (why should they?) and the Devil is also on the scene to foul things up for them. I could go on and on about this plot, but you probably get the idea. This is pretty questionable material we\'re working with in terms of a screenplay.
I liked Oliver Reed quite a bit as the Devil. If the Devil walked the streets of New York, I suppose that\'s how he\'d look or act. I also enjoyed watching he and the Charles Durning\'s angelic character square off by moving time back and forth to suit their respective needs. The film gets a few laughs out of a restaurant scene where the two demolish the place before God appears to reign in Durning for \"abusing his powers\".
The film is full of 80\'s clichés and scenes that only serve to date the material. There is little or no chemistry between the two leads, and that was the main reason behind this film\'s failure. Travolta\'s body is bound to be a plus for the ladies in the audience. He was still buff from his work in \"Staying Alive\". Olivia looked better in Xanadu with her longer hair, if I may be so bold. The film did virtually nil at the box office, and Travolta\'s career went south in a hurry shortly thereafter.
I\'ll give it 4 stars mostly for the great cast. And any film with Scatman Crothers always gets a bonus star from the Hound. I loved that guy.
A somewhat unique storyline whereas God decides to end the world again being stalled only by his closest angel advisors who submit to him that the human race is worth saving. To prove it, they set up two unlikely people to fall in love and sacrifice everything for one another - a real miracle.
Very much worth seeing - and it is even a cheap owner now. A must see for Olivia and Travolta fans. Not as much fun as Grease, but give it a chance.
# Because Olivia Newton-John\'s hit single \"Twist of Fate\" was so popular just prior to the film\'s release, Fox replaced the movie\'s original score with instrumental versions of her chart-topping song.
# After striking box office gold in Grease (1978), John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John re-teamed five years later for this romantic comedy.
# While shooting a scene on-location in New York City, Olivia Newton-John was bitten by a dog named \"Pascha.\" The Collie/German shepherd mix lived in the neighborhood and was hired along with his owner as an extra. When Olivia approached them asking to pet the dog, the owner warned her that Pascha was afraid of crowds. Leaning in to pet him anyway, she was bitten on the hand. Needless to say, this ended Pascha\'s movie career, and they filmed the scene without him. Olivia braved the injury and kept on working.