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CITY OF ANGELS
Review by Sarah Gilliam (3/98)

Release: 1998, Warner Bros.
Starring: Meg Ryan, Nicolas Cage
Director: Brad Silberling
MPAA Rating: [PG-13] language, sexuality, nudity
Genre: Romance

SUMMARY

An angel (Cage) comes to earth and falls in love with a young woman (Ryan). To be with her, he must forsake his status and duty as an immortal.

WHAT'S GOOD

Meg Ryan plays her usual fresh-faced, adorable love interest, and her role really comes alive: she's even better here than in When Harry Met Sally, just by virtue of the fact she's coupled with a far more romantic leading man. Nicolas Cage absolutely steals the show, and deserves far more credit than he gets for being a good romantic lead. He alone brought heart to an otherwise flat character in Face/Off in the middle of guns and death, and he was fabulously heroic in Con Air. What he has consistently proven over the years is that he can act his way through any script with such finesse that it doesn't matter how cliche the writing is. In defense of this screenplay, though, there are many heart-wrenching scenes that are downright touching. Cage's character is humanized and endearing through attention to minor--but rich--character details.

WHAT'S BAD

The movie bears too strong a resemblance to another prior film, The Preacher's Wife. City of Angels relies more on the excellent chemistry between its stars rather than an original premise, so much so that I would downgrade the rating below by 2 points if Nicolas Cage was removed from the film, and 1 additional point if Meg Ryan was absent.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)






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