Anchor Bay presents
Date With An Angel (1987)
"Oh my God! You're real!"- Jim Sanders (Michael E. Knight)
Stars: Michael E. Knight, Phoebe Cates, Emmanuelle Beart
Other Stars: David Dukes, Phil Brock, Albert Macklin, Peter Kowanko, Bibi Besch
Director: Tom McLoughlin
MPAA Rating: PG for (brief, mild language)
Run Time: 01h:45m:12s
Release Date: 2002-05-21
DVD ReviewAlright, it is guilty pleasure time. I have to confess to actually liking this harmless 1987 comedy—in all of its pure, sugary fluff. How can you not appreciate a world so far flung from reality that a character has to chose between Phoebe Cates or Emmanuelle Beart? Talk about your really, really tough life decisions....
Jim Sanders (Michael E. Knight—Tad Martin from All My Children) is a struggling musician, engaged to Patty (Cates), the daughter of wealthy cosmetics kingpin. It becomes clear early on that Patty and Jim, while maybe a cute enough couple, possibly just aren't truly made for each other. Why a guy wouldn't want to make a relationship with Phoebe Cates work is beyond me, but I guess that's why it's a movie. Their relationship is further strained at a frou-frou engagement party where Jim's trio of supposedly wacky friends kidnap him, dressed as ski-masked terrorists, complete with Uzis. They drag Jim off to a bachelor party, which culminates in him waking up to find a female angel (Beart) floating face-down in his pool. An angel, you say? Yeah, you heard me. As we see in the opening sequence, a number of angels—feathery wings and all—have been dispatched to Earth. We follow one in particular, shown as a glowing ball of blue light, and an errant collision with a space satellite renders her apparently unconscious, hence the crash-landing into Jim's pool.
In the predictable Splash-like events that follow, Jim has to protect the unnamed angel from all sorts of people that wish to exploit her, including his three extremely unfunny, buffoonish friends, as well as his future father-in-law. Of course, in predictable fashion, Jim begins to fall in love with the winged messenger (can't blame him, really), and that only adds to the stress in his relationship with intensely jealous Patty.
The angel is played by a perfectly cast Emmanuelle Beart, who is without a doubt one of the most unbelievably beautiful women EVER. Period. End of discussion. Here she is properly stunning, radiant, gorgeous, and yes, angelic. Perpetually backlit, her blonde hair glows, and I honestly can't think of a finer cinematic representation of an angel than Beart. She spends 99% of the film dialogue free, and thpogh her angel costume looks a little cheesy at times, Beart just has to stand there and look heavenly, something that apparently comes quite easy to her. Plus, she turns the simple act of eating french fries into an art form.
Like I said earlier, this is a guilty pleasure of mine, no doubt due in large part to the fact that Beart is truly a goddess. But pure eye candy aside, Date With Angel moves along the well-worn path of typical 1980s lightweight comedies, and more importantly, it is also the kind of film that I can comfortably sit down and watch with my eleven-year-old daughter, too. This is a harmless, cute comedy—nothing ground-breaking or cutting-edge, by any means.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||2.35:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Here's yet another sharp 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from Anchor Bay. Who would have thought Date With An Angel would get a 2.35:1 transfer? The source print is amazingly blemish-free, and other than the presence of some light grain, the image transfer holds up well; colors are bright, fleshtones look natural, while black levels are a little off, resulting in a few muddy shadows. There was noticeable shimmer and haloing during some scenes, but in general this 1987 feature looks quite good.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: With an English 2.0 Dolby surround track as the sole mix, Anchor Bay has pretty much limited the available options. With regard to surround effects, there are a few ambient sounds (rain, thunder, birds) that fill things out spatially, but this is primarily a front channel experience. The timbre of the overall audio transfer is a little flat, which has a tendency to make some of the dialogue sound somewhat thin. The synthy-pop score, which screams 1987, doesn't offer much in the way of punch, and just sounds dated here.
Still, Date With An Angel is not Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace, so it doesn't really require an overly sophisticated transfer to be functional. This is late 1980s fluff, and the audio track works just fine.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Extras Review: With just a theatrical trailer (widescreen) and 25 chapters, Anchor Bay hasn't bothered to load this disc with any substantive extras—not even subtitles.
Where's my damn Emmanuelle Beart photo gallery??
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsThe special effects aren't very special—in fact downright laughable at times—and an abundance of one-dimensional secondary characters litter almost every scene. Cates, Beart and Knight are likeable, enough so to salvage this from becoming too insipid. Everyone has a few guilty pleasures in their own video closet, and this is one of mine.
Recommended as a family night rental, at the very least.
Rich Rosell 2002-06-04