Einmal Himmel und zurück (2001)

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Einmal Himmel und zurück: Directed by Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz. With Chris Rock, Regina King, Chazz Palminteri, Eugene Levy. After dying before his time, an aspiring black comic gets a second shot at life – by being placed in the body of a wealthy white businessman.

“Chris Rock stars in this remake of Warren Beattyu0026#39;s Heaven Can Wait (itself a remake of the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan), a comedy about a man who dies before his time, before he can realize his dreams, and his adventures in his new (albeit temporary) body. In the Beatty version, the protagonist was a backup quarterback for the then-Los Angeles Rams. In Rocku0026#39;s hipper version, our lead character is a struggling young – and decidedly low-talent – standup comedian.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s very funny to see the razor-sharp Rock playing a bad comedian. Itu0026#39;s kind of like seeing Tom Hanks play a bad actor. Lance Bartonu0026#39;s dream is to play the legendary Apollo Theater on a non-amateur night. But every time he tries out his material, heu0026#39;s booed off the stage lustily – so much so that his nickname becomes u0026quot;Booie.u0026quot; His jokes are lame, his delivery painful. In short, Lance is everything that the real Chris Rock isnu0026#39;t.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003enLance is also a bike messenger, and heu0026#39;s riding the streets on his way to try out even more material when BAM! Heu0026#39;s hit by a truck. Ok, so maybe he was taken from his body a tenth of a second early by a slightly incompetent angel (Eugene Levy), but hey, he was going to get hit anyway. No dice, it appears Lance isnu0026#39;t due in Heaven until 2044. So what to do? Mr. King (Chazz Palminteri), the u0026quot;manageru0026quot; of Heaven, reluctantly agrees to find a new body for the not-quite-dead Mr. Barton. Trouble is, the body they find is of a greedy, old white man. Turns out this fella (a Mr. Wellington) owns all kinds of things – heu0026#39;s the 15th richest man in the country! What luck! You can imagine how Lance will turn things around. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBut of course, while in the body of the affluent Mr. Wellington, Lance falls for a gorgeous hospital worker (Regina King). We males know how tough it is to find a female given our own body, but try winning one over while youu0026#39;re an dumpy, old white guy! And itu0026#39;s even worse when sheu0026#39;s not impressed by your money. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is Rocku0026#39;s first shot at a lead role, and in my opinion he performs admirably. Thereu0026#39;s still a lot of the standup comedian in him – and, of course, if he ever wants to get diverse roles, he might have to stop incorporating standup routines into the script – but this isnu0026#39;t really a bad thing. Rocku0026#39;s personality – his drive, his delivery, his demeanor, and his passion – are what fuel this film. Heu0026#39;s clearly having a lot of fun in the role, and he seems bent on making sure you have fun watching him.”

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