- Movie Rating -

Hello Again (1987)

| November 6, 1987

I really don’t know what is happening here.  Who keeps giving Shelley Long these dimwitted scripts?  Haven’t they watched her on television?  Haven’t they seen “Cheers”?  Here is an actress with a gift for comic timing who, week-after-week, creates such a funny and witty character in Diane Chambers but then goes on screen and plays dumbbells in scripts that would have been rejected as TV pilots.

Thus far she’s been the sane half of the romantic duo in the house-demolition comedy The Money Pit.  She was a rich-bitch in Troop Beverly Hills and she was most recently the weaker half of the buddy comedy Outrageous Fortune with Bette Midler.  These movies are beneath her.  They are stupid, witless and a waste of her time and ours.  Now comes the worst of the bunch, Hello Again, a comic fantasy that is not only unfunny but wastes a really creative concept.

Think about it, what would happen if you came back to life after having been dead for a whole year?  What would you say to the people who have mourned you?  What do you think they would say to you?  How do you think you would adjust to the changes that your loved ones have made in their lives in your absence?

I still want to know because they certainly aren’t part of this movie, which takes this concept and whittles it down to screaming, pratfalls and dumb one-liners.  She plays Lucy, a housewife who is married to a two-timing bastard named Jason.  He’s a plastic surgeon, so we kind of get where the marriage came from.  His moral compass is broken, but she seems to be cursed with terminal clumsiness.  She can’t walk across the room without falling down like Rob Petrie.  This lack of basic mobility accounts for an accident when she chokes on a South Korean Chicken ball at her sister’s place that finally does her in.

One year later, her sister (Judith Ivey) brings dear old sis back from the grave via some magic gypsy voodoo or something.  Doesn’t matter.  She’s out of the grave and doesn’t know that she’s been dead for a year.  That complicates things when she goes back home and finds out that Jason is now married to her best friend Kim (Sela Ward).  The moment that Lucy shows up in the bedroom is the worst moment in the movie.  Jason screams.  Lucy screams.  Kim screams.  But no one ever really gets around to the central mystery of how she came back or where she’s been.

The rest of the movie is just resting on sitcom nonsense mixed with some treacly nonsense about – I think – appreciating the life that you have while you’re here.  It doesn’t matter.  The point is we’re suppose to laugh at jokes that reach the lowest common denominator.

I’ve mentioned what this movie is doing to Long’s career, so now let me heave on another point.  Hello Again is another product of Disney new division that is suppose to move them away from family entertainment and start on projects of a more adult nature.  But . . . with this?  How can they be trying to lean on more adult comedy when they’ve allowed a comedy the be produced that is so aggravatingly juvenile?

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy