I think I have found my first lost gem of 1993. This film was simply amazing. Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic in this movie, which perfectly balances genuine laughs with emotional tears. It makes you cry without ever being depressing. It may be too sappy for some, but I think that most will be very entertained. It’s so much fun that you don’t want it to end.
Heart and Souls provides us with a unique twist on a familiar story. It’s anything but formulaic as there are two 2nd acts and a new climax is reached each time one of the ghosts “concludes” their life. All of this followed by one big ending that you don’t really see coming. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t come without some predictability, but it never nears annoyance. Initially I thought that the 1st act was a little rushed and didn’t give enough background to the characters, but as the movie progressed I saw how the filmmakers utilized the rest of the movie to develop the characters and give them depth. And perhaps they wanted to keep it light and felt that if they were too developed early on that the audience would become too upset when they all die in the bus accident 10 minutes into the movie. I also applaud the script for not overly explaining things for the audience. It kept it very free-flowing.
There are some great comedy scenes here too. It’s a silly movie and it even comedically acknowledges the fact that it waited so long to have Thomas (Downey Jr.) help the ghosts out with their unfinished business. And Thomas (as Harrison) belting out the National Anthem before an audience waiting for B.B. King to come on stage is a classic scene.
Ron Underwood’s direction is on point, and Shaiman’s sweeping score fits perfectly with the tone of this movie.
My only criticism is that it didn’t address the fact that Thomas was still mad at the ghosts for leaving him when he was a child. His resentment was never clearly resolved with his invisible friends. But this is a minor complaint compared to how much joy this movie has brought to me.
People will either love it or hate it. It may have been forgotten about since 1993 but I think if people started watching it now, they’d realize that this is a nice treasure waiting to be rediscovered. It holds up well and should be considered a classic by today’s standards.
Twizard Rating: 96