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Fantastic movie. My wife died 26 years ago at 33 so it is hard to watch people die and since I was in the military I can't bear to watch battle movies like "Saving Private Ryan", I cried the first 30 minutes of that movie solid. But City of Angels tore me apart. I won't say why. You just have to watch it.
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2018
I grew up in a suburban Texas town where there wasn't much to do other than go to the mall or the movies. Because of this, I saw some movies multiple times in the theater...and *not* always because they were good! After watching this for the first time in 15 years or so, I am reminded that this is one I saw so many times because I loved it. The story holds up and the acting is fantastic. Nic Cage masters the art of being mysterious and loving without any level of creepiness. Which is actually pretty mind-blowing considering this is a dude following a woman around/randomly showing up wherever she is. Being older, I also appreciate some of the deeper emotional "life" feels that we get throughout this movie. Not something I necessarily appreciated or was aware of at 14. Watch again if it's been awhile. And watch for the first time if you never have.
Welcome to Amazon, a jungle in which one sometimes finds movie reviews that are better written than scripts. It is a re-make. But it's not half bad.
Cage does the best he can with the script. He "falls" from grace for a mortal woman. In the course of so doing, he becomes mortal, but it is not a punishment, it is an experience he chose, exercising his free will. Cage's character is not unlike that of Starman, he is essentially a light being in a holographic body that cannot experience any sensory perception, because there is nothing "in" the body, no blood, no hormones. It is an ascended soul wearing a "human" costume.
The angel then, is the watcher who is also the man in black. He can see everything, hear everything, but only as a watcher, he cannot interact, be seen, be heard, it is a one-way street. He is "big" brother but in the form of countless individual angels. Few humans notice angels at all, even though "there is one in every room." Yet no angel can interfere with free will. "Fallen angels" play by the same rules but have more of them and keep their angel memories.
Even those who can see angels and feel their touch might not care what the angel feels. "Maggie" does. It is the mutuality of interaction that makes the experience meaningful for humans. Humans feel what they expect to feel. At the same time, "Maggie" is the human who wants to ascend. She is cherubic looking. She is selfless. She is ready to be rid of the messy bloody noisy smelly putrid business of sewing up broken hearts that refuse to mend. She is curious to see where they go, perhaps. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Is a moment of love, a few hours of romance worth a dimension shift? Many have said it not only is, but that love is the driving force in the universe. Without love, nothing would move. So some go up, some go down. For each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The funny thing about love being a driving force is that it has to keep moving. There is no tying it up to a tree, putting in a cage. Even one called Nicolas.
These two souls were attracted to one another not because they "fit" as romantic partners but because they were alike, both curious, both ready to sacrifice everything they know to learn everything they don't know. True love is often a passing of like-souls in the hallway, so to speak. Seth does not get into the elevator, he waits for Maggie outside, a step ahead, during the courtship. Perhaps he does not want to see her choice of destinations.
The interesting difference here is the idea that angelic beings are incapable of feeling emotion, of tasting food, of enjoying sensual touch. That they hang around us in order to figure out what makes us tick. "Seth" asks "Maggie" what tears are, what makes the body cry. Is it a purely physical reaction? How does it work? He gets the technical explanation, he looks into the microscope, but some piece is missing. In the end, he becomes fully "human" by crying then grieving, then finding joy in renewal by loving little things, the pounding surf hitting the body swimming just in front of a wave.
And so do we all, moving in cycles from observer to participant and back again in the seasons of life and of lifetimes.
I've loved this sensitive film since it was first released. The premise is a little bit weird, and I'm not sure if angels actually sit up on top of skyscrapers, or stand on the beach in the morning, but the movie has heart. Just one of those "good cry films". Everybody needs one once in awhile. Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan make the film, and Dennis Franz makes the laughs...a sweet-sided tough guy full of wisdom. The film is definitely a tear- jerker, but it's well worth watching.
I fell in love with Nicky in this! I know it was fanyasy life but their acting was awesome & the music was off the Charts! I LOVE Alannis Morrisette's Uninvited, she has a good vibrato & control of her voice. And Sarah McLaughlins's Arms Of The Angel brings me to my knees since they used it on GH hospital when Sam & Sonny;s was a still born & Jason was the only one to hold her. I cried like a toddler! But u have to see it to see why my reaction was so emotional. GH knows how to make u cry for days on end!
Meg Ryan - that should tell you enough right there. There are very few BAD Meg Ryan movies. Even fewer BAD romantic comedies that star Meg Ryan.
Then add Nicolas Cage - who is not one of my favorite people in the world - but is a TERRIFIC leading man. He's not devastatingly handsome. He's just interesting enough to draw you in. And this is his best work.
Meg plays Maggie - a doctor who takes it very hard when she loses a patient on the table when she did EVERYTHING right and he should have lived, but did not.
Nicolas plays Seth - an Angel who develops a strong attachment to Maggie and wants to help her and ends up falling in love with her. So much so that he allows her to see him - which he's not really supposed to do.
Dennis Franz plays Nathaniel Messenger - a former angel who decided to take the plunge (literally) and become human. Maggie is his doctor and he guides Seth to understand more about what's going on and explain to him he can fall to Earth should he choose - and become human.
The movie follows their path to claim each other. The most sensual and yet innocently sweet scene of any movie - a rainstorm and Maggie can't sleep - and she asks Seth to stay with her - although he won't let her see him. The music enhances that scene immensely - Sarah McLachlan's Angel - a more perfect song, I couldn't imagine.
If you've never watched the movie - the ending is actually perfect. It's not what you'd expect, but it is perfect. And beautiful. It's filmed beautifully, acted deliberately and wonderfully, and embedded as a fantastic memory.
It would be a sin - literally - to never see this movie.
I'm a fan of Cage and have many of his movies. I especially also like the other actors in this and the story and how well it's told. I won't ruin it for you but this is not to be missed and the music is great as well.
5.0 out of 5 starsI have always liked Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 12, 2014
I had heard about "City of Angels" but never managed to watch it. Recently it was shown on television and I was excited to finally see it. After the first half hour it started breaking up.But what I had seen was enough to make me want to watch the whole film.So I ordered it ,it arrived a few days later and my husband and I watched it the same night. I have always liked Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan,and the combination of both worked well. What if heaven exists and angels are all around us to guide us, protect us and finally lead us home ? The idea is well thought through ,sad in places but also with the assuring hope that death may not be the last place for us to go. And also the thought that it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The film brings home the question what makes us human, with all of our imperfections and limits . Would you swap an eternal life for a life that is final ? Would you leave the security of heaven behind for the chance to experience love ? City of Angels is a highly moving film. Romantic, deep, emotional,and spiritual. We both loved it ,and if you like this genre of film,you will love it too.
I had the soundtrack to the movie before the film and after discussing with a friend how much I loved the CD I thought I need to see the film. It is a beautiful love story, without becoming over sentimental but the ending was in someways predictable but that does not take away how good the movie is. Well acted (even for Nicholas Cage who can be hit and miss in his movies at times) by all the actors and Meg Ryan shows she isn't just a rom/com actress here. I would have to say that most men would put it as a chick flick but actually it has a lot of depth and thought provoking elements which they may enjoy if they did watch this movie. Do recommend the OST which is excellent
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful film from start to finish.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2020
For anyone who wants to get in touch with their soul, or their inner emotional world...this is the film for you. You will want to believe in Angels by the end of this. Cage is perfect in the role and even the odd tough cynic will be silently wiping away tears by the end. It is about humanity and heartbreak and the true meaning of that rarest of things...love.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2015
As I saw this film on a friend's wish list, I bought it for her along with "Meet Joe Black" as a Christmas present in 2014 and she loves it. Starring Nicolas Cage (one of her absolute favourite actors) and Meg Ryan, "City of Angels" focuses on an angelic guardian come to earth, named Seth. A highly observant and rather silent character, he dares you to think again on whether you believe in angels or not. His challenging personality has an effect on Maggie, a young surgeon, which soon triggers the start of a gripping relationship. For a film that is charged by Cage scrutinizing everyone around him including Maggie, it is perfect for die hard fans of this fantastic actor.
5.0 out of 5 starsNicolas Cage is in it but don't let that put you off
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2019
If you haven't seem this film yet, then why not? It's a lovely movie, with Nicolas Cage starring as an Angel who comes to Earth and meets a young Doctor played by Meg Ryan. She is a delight, and he is...well, he is surprisingly good. It's a very touching film that could have turned out to be twee or sickly sweet, but instead is just right. Curl up, get comfy, and enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 starslove this dvd i used it to try to show ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2016
love this dvd i used it to try to show my autistic son about his questions on what happens when you die. this really calmed him knowing that an angel comes to collect you. this eased his anxietys so much. would defiantly recommend to everyone.
1.0 out of 5 starsNot worth the money from music magpie.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2020
I ordered this film, hadn't seen it in year's, but always liked this movie, but when I recieved it from music magpie I was suprised, as anything else I've ordered from music magpie was always a legit dvd, but this dvd looked like a copy which it is hence the picture, I won't be ordering again from music magpie as don't want to pay maybe £1 cheaper from new to copy again .