This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
If there is a heaven, I imagine it is an absolutely indescribable and overwhelmingly amazing place, but when it turns up in the movies, it always seems more like a place where you might want to go fly fishing.
Why can't the movies really extend themselves and give us something more than clouds, nightgowns and recycled plots about how dumb everyone is on earth? Just this month we have had one vision of heaven, in "Made in Heaven," and two visitors from heaven, Shelley Long in "Hello Again" and now Emmanuelle Beart in "Date With an Angel." Taken together, these three movies have convinced me I would rather spend the afterlife on my own. "Made in Heaven" made the best try, and its scenes in heaven were intriguing, even though the characters, given carte blanche to create any environment they fancied, showed an appalling lack of imagination. The other two movies have the same problem, a puzzling inability to make some kind of glorious metaphysical leap into the wonders that could be.
Take Long. Her character returned to earth after an entire year spent in the beyond. What did she experience there? What did she remember? Who did she bring greetings from? What message did she have for us? Nothing. Zero. Zip. Get this: She couldn't remember what happened. For the audience, this payoff was roughly comparable to Stan Freberg's trained rat, which spent a lifetime learning to negotiate a maze and was rewarded with a lousy chlorophyll gumball. In "Date With an Angel," the angel at least remembers heaven. She recognizes pictures of angels, anyway, in old art books and starts cooing with pleasure. Her problem is that she doesn't speak any known language and spends so much of her time making goo-goo eyes at the hero that even he finally gets tired of it. The angel is played by Beart, recently seen in "Manon of the Spring," and there is no doubt she is one beautiful woman - a dreamy adolescent version of Catherine Deneuve.
In the movie, she crash-lands in a swimming pool during a mission to earth and injures herself. She is nursed back to health by Michael E. Knight, as a young yuppie who is engaged to marry Phoebe Cates.