Michael - * * 1/2*

Michael is a slight little romantic comedy that is enjoyable, but has little lasting impact. William Hurt is Frank Quinlan, a once respected journalist, who is now lowered to writing for a supermarket tabloid, the Weekly Mirror. He and a fellow journalist (Robert Pastorelli) whose only claim to fame is owning Sparky, the paper’s famous mascot, are teamed up with Dorothy (Andie MacDowell), an angel expert, to investigate an angel sighting in rural Iowa. The cynical trio travel there, and are surprised to discover a real life angel, Michael (John Travolta). However, he’s unlike the stereotypical angels of old. Michael smokes, drinks, has poor table manners, and badly needs a shave. However, he does have wings, the ability to perform small miracles, and has an uncanny attractiveness with women. Michael sets out on a journey back to Chicago with the three reporters, but his agenda may not be what it initially seems. There are plenty of moments in Michael which make you chuckle or smile fondly, but few of them are of any consequence. The plot itself is rather obvious, containing no surprises, and we are left to be entertained by the cast alone. Luckily, the cast is appealing. Travolta still has his Phenomenon scruffily good aura about him, and eases nicely into the angelic role. Hurt and MacDowell are nice in the film’s obvious pairing. In supporting roles, both Robert Pastorelli and Bob Hoskins (as the tabloid editor) are colorful and amusing. It’s too bad Nora Epheron’s direction can’t make more use of this talent. Michael is light and enjoyable, but the feeling is fleeting.

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