Friday, June 1, 2007

Love, friendship, second chances, and a roll of film

Chances are that you have seen the movie “Chances Are” starring Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Downey Jr and Mary Stuart Masterson. It has been shown on television several times already. In fact, yesterday while I was learning how to cook fried rice, I caught snatches of this movie on cable TV. But I couldn't watch the movie in its entirety as I was more concerned watching the replay of the Cleveland Cavaliers' double overtime win over the Detroit Pistons.

“Chances Are” is a feel good movie which tells the story of a journalist who took a picture of a corrupt judge accepting a bribe from an accused whom he had set free earlier. The man who dies quite unexpectedly leaving a lonely widow played by Cybill Shepherd, manages to convince the angels at heaven’s gate that it wasn’t his time yet, and he is given a chance to go back to earth in the body of Robert Downey Jr. The angel however fails to erase all the memories of the man’s past life from Downey’s psyche. (Note: Read the Biblical objections to reincarnation.)

Twenty three years later - after the pictures were taken, after the man died, after the character played by Downey was born, after the birth of Cybill’s daughter played by Mary Stuart Masterson - well, she falls in love with Downey. But since Downey’s character had all the memories and mannerisms of Cybill’s husband, guess what happens when daughter brings the young man home to mama?

You guessed it - Downey falls in love with Cybill, much to Mary’s bewilderment, Cybill begins to care for Downey, and to add to the fun and confusion, Ryan O’Neal, who plays Cybill’s best friend, has been waiting patiently for 23 years to win Cybill’s affections.

Well, all things end well. Downey falls in love with Mary after the angel finally catches up with him and erases all memories of Cybill’s former husband from his psyche, and Ryan finally weds Cybill, their longtime friendship finally blooming into love!

Oh, and the corrupt judge also gets to be finally exposed for what he was; Cybill finds the roll of film taken by her husband 23 years earlier, has it processed, and the picture of the judge accepting a bribe gets published in all the newspapers.

You might ask, what’s the point of this mini movie review that's quite different in tone from my previous articles in this blog? Well, the roll of film gets processed after 23 years. It is highly improbable for that roll of film, even for black and white film, to still retain the latent images after that long period of time! Some of you might know that I have photography lessons in my Campus Connection blog.

Well, it’s just a movie of course, and technical things like films and latent images should not get in the way of love, friendship and second chances. We’re all suckers for sappy love stories and wonderful endings! Besides, what did poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge say about fiction? He said, “Fiction is the willing suspension of disbelief.”

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