This content of this post originally appeared in the “JNL” section of the Janesville Gazette.
“Michael” is one of the year’s best family films, both for the comedy and for the meaning of the film. John Travolta plays the part of the drinking, smoking, joke-cracking archangel better than anyone could have imagined that it could be done.
Michael has come down from heaven to show everybody that sometimes they just have to learn to laugh. William Hurt plays Frank Quinan, a reporter for the National Mirror, a supermarket tabloid based in Chicago. His best friend Huey (Robert Pastorelli) is also a reporter, but he only has a job there because his dog resembles the dog their boss had when he was a kid. Sparky the dog is a big feature in the newspaper; he has his own column.
The reporters get a letter from Iowa reporting that an old lady who owns a motel has had an angel living with her for six months. They go to Iowa to check it out; Andie Ma Dowell also is assigned to go on the trip. When they get there, they find that Michael is nothing like they expected. He drinks, smokes and likes to pour sugar on everything. He also has a hobby of wanting to see the world’s largest anything — ball of twine, building, non-stick frying pan.
MacDowell and Hurt play the people that Michael has to come to Earth to unite; he had made a bet with God that he could get them to marry. One of the few bad things in this movie is that sometimes you can’t really tell what’s going on until 10 minutes after it has happened. Even so, “Michael” is one of the best new movies for people of all ages. There is practically no bad language except for one scene. And don’t forget what Michael says to Sparky: “No matter what anybody tells you, you can never eat too much sugar.”