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Michael (Snap Case) (1996) (Bilingual)
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Michael (Snap Case)
After the box-office success of Phenomenon, John Travolta continued to charm audiences with this 1996 comedy-fantasy in which he plays a grubby angel who's got one last good deed to do before heading back to heaven. Living peacefully in the rural Iowa home of an old, friendly motel owner (Jean Stapleton), the winged Michael (Travolta) is hardly the image of a perfect angel. He's scruffy, unshaven, eats sweetened cereal by the box-full and chain-smokes all day long. But when tabloid reporters (William Hurt, Robert Pastorelli) learn of Michael's alleged existence and head to Iowa to check him out, Michael soon realizes that it's his task to see that Hurt falls in love with an "angel expert" (Andie MacDowell) and breaks free from his habitually cynical attitude. There's more to the story, of course (and Chasing Amy fans will recognize Joey Lauren Adams as a waitress who charms the angel), but Michael is more about the effect that this enchanting angel has on the earthbound humans around him. Whether he's chipping away at Hurt's skepticism or attracting a crowd of women on a truck-stop dance floor, Michael is an enchanting figure, and Travolta plays him with just the right tone of humor, reverence, and effervescent charm. Sure, it's lightweight fluff, but director Nora Ephron specializes in lightweight fluff, and Michael is the kind of feel-good movie that never wears out its welcome. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael, who is excellently portrayed by John Travolta, is an unorthodox Archangel enjoying his last mission (vacation?) to Earth. A supermarket tabloid from Chicago sends a team to Iowa to get a story and pictures; after discovering that he's a real angel they naturally want to bring him back to the big city.
What works best is that the story is essentially a fun-spirited road movie (I'm a sucker for road movies). William Hurt, Andie MacDowell and Robert Patorelli have an exceptional time meeting Michael and trying to escort him back to Chicago. Michael acts like a tourist having the time of his life, humorously wanting to see those silly little attractions we see dispersed across the countryside (e.g. "the world's biggest non-stick frying pan," etc.) -- you know, the ones most of us adults roll our eyes at.
Lots of fun things and miricles take place along the way (e.g. women are naturally attracted to Michael, bar fight, bull fight, etc.); you should discover them for yourself when watching the film. What struck me the most about Michael is that he had a true spirit of joy. The simple joy-of-living-itself was all over him; and this naturally had a big impact on all the people around him. This is something most of us could learn from Michael.
I was pleasantly surprised -- "Michael" is fun, charming and delightful -- not just another run-of-the-mill "chick flick" (in other words, guys will enjoy it too). Recommended.
When Frank Quinlan (William Hurt), a reporter for a national tabloid based in Chicago, gets a letter from a woman in Iowa named Pansy Milbank (Jean Stapleton), who claims that an angel has been living with her for the past six months, Frank's editor, Vartan Malt (Bob Hoskins), dispatches him forthwith to the woman's residence, the Milk Bottle Inn (which she owns), to check it out. Accompanying him is fellow reporter Huey Driscoll (Robert Pastorelli), and a newcomer to the team, Dorothy Winters (Andie MacDowell), who is supposedly an "expert" on angels. What they expect to find when they get there is anybody's guess, but if it's someone with a halo and the proverbial "inner light," they are about to be sorely disappointed; because when they finally meet Michael (John Travolta, complete with wings-- but are they real?Read more ›
Not only did I like the adding sugar to sugared cereal, the smoking, the junk food and whoa sexual angel he portrayed but I loved his gentleness and the way all the actors worked together. Jean Stapleton whom many will remember from ALL IN THE FAMILY, William Hurt, and Robert Pastorelli who played the eccentric painter on the MURPHY BROWN series and Andie MacDowell whom I fell in love with in FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL all work so well together.
There is jaded humor, deep friendship, good Vs evil, optimistic challenges and sadly death. But it was interesting since the death seemed as close to any movie that convinced me that death is life as I have seen. It is also a movie that men as well as women will enjoy.
Travolta, who displays his gift for irony and whimsy, plays an unorthodox angel--a paunchy slob with moth-eaten wings who smokes, hits the bottle and chases women, even as he is on some unspecified angelic assignment in Iowa. Director Nora Ephron shows the humor and power of Michael by having Travolta, perform his Pulp Fiction dance to Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools." In fact, most of the script, by Ephron, her sister Delia and others, displays ingenuity, grace, wit and taste.
Hurt, MacDowell, and Pastorelli play cynical tabloid reporters hunting down the hapless angel. The venerable Jean Stapleton offers bright moments as the rambunctious motel owner who discovers Travolta's powers.
Repeat watching will uncover thought provoking subtleties. And of course laughs at our favorite parts--'Lines? I invented lines. Before that people were just walking around'.-- 'Pies, everybody loves pie'.
Most recent customer reviews
Travolta is great. Lots of fun for the whole family. It isn't a belly laugher, but the humor kept me smiling the entire time.Published 3 months ago by Kelly D. Bryson
I love this fantasy film, but it needs to be released on Blu-ray widescreen. If you agree, then at the bottom of this review were it says "Was this review helpful to you? Read morePublished 18 months ago by Eddy B
It was a real spoof on angels. John played a sloppy, dirty angel and won hearts in the film especially when it became apparent he was living his last hoorah.Published 23 months ago by P B
Excellent movie that I have been looking for on dvd for a long time, I have always loved this one.Published on Nov. 8 2012 by Marc
Frank Quinlan (William Hurt) is a writer for a grate American institution, a tabloid. His assignment, to retrieve an angle. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2006 by Bernie
This film is brilliant! if i did't have much space for this review it would be enough to stop there! Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Jenna
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