Like the later HEAVY PETTING (1989), HEAVEN mixes the musings of a variety of people with kitschy old film clips. But where HEAVY PETTING at least offered celebrities talking about a subject of guaranteed interest--sex--HEAVEN subjects the viewer to people you've never heard of talking
dully about the afterlife. Actress Diane Keaton proved that she has behind-the-camera talent with such later films as UNSTRUNG HEARTS (1996); what she had in mind with this waste of time is anyone's guess.
HEAVEN is loosely structured around a series of questions: What is heaven? Do you believe in heaven? What is God like? Is there sex in heaven? Are you afraid to die? etc. These are discussed by several dozen people, some of whom seen thoughtful and serious, others of whom seem silly, and some of
whom seem to be borderline lunatics. Nothing any of them has to say is particularly interesting or amusing. Some of the comments are laughable, but too often it seems as though responses have been taken out of context in order to make fun of the speaker, a despicable tactic. None of the people are
identified (the only recognizable face belongs to boxing promoter Don King), leaving the viewer with no idea as to why they have been chosen to provide their opinions. Efforts to make the film feel more interesting--jump cuts, obtrusive shadows, dialogue repeated quickly to produce a "scratching"
effect--have the opposite effect, moving the viewer from idly bored to actively annoyed.
HEAVEN is worth seeing only for an interesting variety of archival film clips. Film expert William K. Everson, credited as a consultant, was the presumed source for a surprising amount of unfamiliar footage, much of it apparently from the 1920s and 30s and in pristine condition. It's sadly
appropriate that this inane production mars even that virtue by failing to identify any of the films from which these scenes came. (Profanity.)
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- Released: 1987
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Like the later HEAVY PETTING (1989), HEAVEN mixes the musings of a variety of people with kitschy old film clips. But where HEAVY PETTING at least offered celebrities talking about a subject of guaranteed interest--sex--HEAVEN subjects the viewer to people… (more)