Several months ago, I wrote a post about what I thought were the best angel movies. What wasn’t on that list was the movie City of Angels. I didn’t include it, because I preferred the German version, Wings of Desire.
However, I recently had a chance to re-watch City of Angels on TV, and have to admit it’s not bad. The cable company marked it as a solid 3 stars, and I’ve have to agree.
Okay, there were some awkward moments:
Nicholas Cage’s besotted, serene expression, felt insincere, and well… awkward. My guess is that he was trying to demonstrate angelic love, but it seemed flat. Too bad this film was made before visual effects really took off. Some way to show he was otherwordly might have helped.
How about the first time Nicholas Cage appeared to Meg Ryan in the hospital corridors? Perhaps, I’ve seen too many instances of Criminal Minds, but if some strange guy knew me by name I would have pegged him as a sociopath and called security. Just Sayin’.
Then there’s Meg Ryan fantasizing about Nicholas Cage in the bathtub while she’s caressing her cheek with a beer bottle. That’s a little bit trailer park, right?
All three of those moments had me squirming in my seat, and not in a good way.
So, I breathed through that, happy I was watching it alone so nobody could tease me and have to give credit where it’s due.
The notion of angels having no physical sensations, no wings. “What would be the point of flying if you can’t feel the wind on your face?” is a brilliant line.
The way the angels gathered to listen to the sunrise and sunset. That was cool. As were the scenes of all the angels watching Seth and Maggie in the library.
Nathaniel Messenger. That guy made the whole movie. Even though his character was completely lifted from Peter Faulk’s in Wings of Desire, he was still great.
The music. Songs like Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, Peter Gabriel’s I Grieve, and Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls are classic.
All in all, if you’re a fan of angels, City of Angels is worth seeing. But bring a box of kleenex, because if you haven’t seen this film before, there’s definitely a weepy moment (if a little corny) at the end.
Then, once you’ve seen it, watch Wings of Desire.
How about you. Have you seen City of Angels? How about Wings of Desire? Which one did you prefer?
If you saw CoA only, do check out WoD.
And how do you feel about North American remakes of European films? Do you prefer the originals or like to see Hollywood versions?
Note: The comments contain spoilers for CoA, if you haven’t seen it. If you have, what did you think of the ending?