Back in 1978, Warren Beatty was one of the hottest actors along with a top heartthrob according to many women (and probably men, too). Every film he either starred in or directed came with it heightened expectations. Though he did make some good films like Bonnie and Clyde and Reds there were an equal amount of duds like Shampoo and Ishtar. Heave n Can Wait finds itself somewhere in the middle – neither great nor awful. Watchable in parts, but certainly not memorable.
As Joe Pendleton, Warren Beatty portrays an NFL quarterback who is erroneously brought to the afterlife by an anxious angel. Due to the error (the fact that he has more “life” to live) and the fact that his body has been cremated, Joe is sent back in the body of a recently murdered millionaire. The fact that the millionaire is alive puzzles the two responsible for his death. Not really worried about that, Joe, now that he has money, is going to buy the team he played for to put into action his dream of quarterbacking his team to a Super Bowl victor while at the same time he finds himself falling in love with an unexpected woman.
An often amusing romantic comedy, Heaven Can Wait features nothing really original and yet still entertains. A kind of film which can be watched many times due to its charming nature. Almost everything here is predictable. This will not be a complete turn off, though.
It is a kind of remake of the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan. A few changes have been made to update and change the story a little. While not as strong a film as the original it was still appreciated by fans and critics alike. So much so that Heaven Can Wait earned nine Oscar nominations.
This was Beatty’s debut behind the camera as a director. He did have some help from comedy film writer Buck Henry. Demonstrates that he does have an eye and understands timing/pacing.