Oh nooooooo! Sometimes you know before a film even starts that the premise is already going to be a swing and a miss. Well this one doesn’t disappoint and it’s one of those things where the premise is so bouncey that you’re not sure if it really could have been saved. There are definitely a lot of ideas you’ll have immediately to make it a bit better but ultimately this story just needed to not happen. Pick just about any other circumstance instead and you’ve got a shot.
Well, the movie starts with Louie about to get married to Corinne when his best friend Philip confides that he is currently in love with Corinne. Instead of knocking the stuffing out of Philip or running him over with the car, Louie confirms that he already knew this with a cocky smirk. Louie is promptly murdered after getting run over a car shortly afterwards but in the afterworld he has decided that he won’t pass on quite yet. He doesn’t get his memory erasure shot and runs back to Earth where he is reincarnated. 23 years pass and he happens to meet Corinne again and gets his memories back. She’s never rebounded so he figures he has a shot but now there is around a 26 year gap between them and he will have to defeat Philip for her affections. Additionally his daughter Miranda likes him since prior to restoring his memories he had started making passes at her. What can he do?
You can already see how messed up the plot is in a lot of ways. First off though, the way they handle Philip makes no sense. If Louie knows that the guy is in love with his wife then it’s time to kick him out completely. Sorry man but once everything is out in the open like that then it’s time to go. It’s never wise to ever even breathe a word about your feelings to anyone if you’ve fallen for someone who’s already taken. What you need to do is cry yourself to sleep and get over her right away. If you can’t then it’s time to move away or put some distance. Thing is, it should be easy to get over someone once they’re off the market.
It’s romance 101. Why do you think the first thing most people ask if if the girl/boy has a boyfriend/girlfriend? It’s because one you know that this is the case, you can move on immediately. It works basically every time. It’s like putting on a filter over your eyes like a pair of glasses. You may still acknowledge their beauty but you don’t see that girl as a potential lover anymore. It’s just such a basic thing and Philip still messed it up. Now the filter does fade away once she breaks up with the guy or he dies but it should work in the short term as a psychological block. Philip telling Louie this straight up is unforgivable especially since they’re supposed to be friends. It was a really selfish thing to do and it’s why you can’t root for him for the rest of the film.
After Louie dies you have to remember that the bro code is still in effect in perpetuity. It never runs out and that means you can’t go after your best friend’s girl. It’s just not something that would ever fly morally so Philip needs to buck up and keep it moving. It was good of him to look after her daughter Miranda and help out for 20 years. Sure that’s a good thing but unfortunately he did it with the intentions of getting together with her. He had nebulous intentions from the jump so I take away all of the credit immediately. This guy just needed to go away.
Now another issue with the film beyond the premise is that the romance is awful. Basically this film is going with the Chad approach that you can win anyone over with a kiss. For example Corinne says she wants nothing to do with Louie when he comes back as a 23 year old and keeps telling him to go away. So basically he just forces her to kiss him and the worst part is you see the exact moment where her mind just snaps and suddenly she wants to be with him. It was the power of the kiss and you roll your eyes when this happens. Then it happens again! Philip makes his move and of course she does the whole “We can’t be together” so he forces her into a kiss and the exact same thing happens. Suddenly she doesn’t want to be with Louie anymore and will stay with Philip.
It’s such a drastic change each and every time. You can’t possibly tell me that a romance built off of a stolen kiss can ever be successful. It will also just make you jaded. I’m convinced that half the reason why a lot of people don’t think guys and girls can ever be friends are films like this. I can picture people watching this film and jumping up and down, fist bumping, and high fiving when Philip goes after Corinne. “Called it!!!” and things like that will be yelled because he couldn’t have possibly been helping her out all these years out of the goodness of his heart.
Man the romance here is abysmal guaranteed. Then there is the whole plot with Miranda that’s pretty awful. Yeah Louie does stay away from her after he has his memories and of course, he better! It’s still just such a weird plot to throw in here and even by the end when the angel shows up with the memory drug it doesn’t make this much better. Corinne still remembers what happened after all as well as Philip and that’s going to make for a very weird family dynamic here. Also as a sidenote, Corinne just looks way too gullible here. If someone showed up saying that they were a reincarnation of anybody I would just laugh it away and keep moving. I’m not buying that story no matter what kinds of secrets they start spouting.
Why? Because I’d sooner believe in mind reading technology than reincarnation so I’d assume it was that. Any possible action this person can do I would have a better explanation for it than the person coming back to life but Corinne bought into this quickly. Well, the kiss is what pushed her over the edge which is actually much worse. I think somewhere deep within the film there is a good comedy film but it is trapped beneath the surface of the plot so it is absolutely doomed.
For example, we could have continued with the whole corrupt judge plot. There was a lot that you could have done with that but in the end it’s barely here at all. It never really ends up being very relevant at all to the point where you may even forget that there is a plot about a corrupt judge here. It has no bearing to anything. At best you can say that the car which ran Louie over was sent by the Judge but that’s never even implied. So yeah this plot was basically completely filler.
Worst part? The film ends with a massive plot hole. Basically the reason Louie got into all this trouble was because he left back to Earth before getting his memory shot and the afterworld has no defenses here. So in the final scenes the angel shows up and gives him the shot so he loses his memory. Problem is…if he could have done that then he should have done it 23 years ago while Louie was a baby. There was no reason to wait this long except for the plot to happen which means that this was bad writing. If your entire story relies on a plot hole then it’s not really a complete story at all. They should have just had Louie hit his head and forget his memories which is what I was expecting for a while there. It would have made wayyyyyy more sense and not introduced this issue at the very end. Or at least throw in a line that it takes 23 years to make a new serum. This could have been fixed so easily not that it would help the score much though.
Overall, This film was going for a weird/uncomfortable vibe with its style of comedy and it definitely succeeded. This is a plot that never needed to happen. Pretty much all of the scenes here get tainted as a result but even outside of the family dynamics the scenes outside of them are very underwhelming as well. You have an old lady falling for Louie so that he can get 2 million dollars for Corinne and it is just the most random thing possible. I know that this guy is supposed to be one of the most charming people in existence but it’s a bit much. I’d also say that the film forgets to be funny half the time as it’s more about everyone getting their feelings hurt and trampled on until the end. By the end nobody is a winner here. Philip was Corinne’s second choice. Louie had his whole identity obliterated in the end. Miranda is with someone who was just messing around with her mother and Corinne is with her second choice since Louie isn’t around anymore. Nobody within the film wins so the viewer loses out as well.