Score: 9 out of 10
I randomly found this lost 80s gem by Steven Spielberg and it is well worth the watch.
Check out the Always trailer here:
The movie is a remake of the 1943 movie A Guy Named Joe but Jesus, what a remake. The premise of the movie is that there is a team of pilots who help fight forest fires with their airplanes by flying their planes as close to the top of trees as possible and they rain down on the fire to help ground fire fighters. What ends up happening is that the main character Pete Sandich (Richard Dreyfuss) is in love with his tomboy sweetheart Dorinda Durston (Holly Hunter) but their life gets shattered when Pete’s airplane explodes after he helps save the life of his best friend Al Yackey (John Goodman). Pete dies but another dead soul Hap (Audrey Hepburn) explains to Pete that to resolve the karmic cycle he must help out another soul just as another dead spirit helped him become the ace pilot he was. He is charged with helping out the newbie pilot Ted Baker (Brad Johnson) which is kind of a goofball, which also happens to fall in love with his old girlfriend. Quite a dilemma. Nobody can see Pete but he can influence crazy people, animals, and people indirectly by inspiring them if his ghost gets emotional enough.
What a premise for a movie! Sure, people have seen and for many years thought Ghost (1990) was probably the best ghost love movie of all time. I would disagree with them. This movie has the Spielberg charm and style all over it. Many, many scenes have that classic style of shot that seem almost like a painted picture, like a work of art. Let’s just say that if you are a fan of Spielberg, especially 80s Spielberg’s films and works such as the Indiana Jones ones, E.T., Amazing Stories, and Empire of the Sun, you will love this film.
This movie was magical. Hey, I’ll admit it. It made me cry and hey, they sure don’t make movies like this anymore. Since I watch everything, including stuff that you wouldn’t expect a bitter person like me to watch, if you are a girl I would say put this movie in the same group of movies as obviously Ghost (1990), P.S. I Love You (2007), Somewhere In Time (1980), What Dreams May Come (1998), and The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009). Maybe even the Notebook (2004). Still it does feel more like a really long episode of Amazing Stories. Sort of like the movie episode for Amazing Stories, the one called The Mission (1985).
I found this to be the most moving performance by Richard Dreyfuss for a movie that was everything except a straight up drama. I would classify this movie as being an action movie, comedy, fantasy film, and drama. It has something for both male and female viewers of all ages and there are many things one can learn and feel by watching it. Yes, a kid might not know how to deal with death but it is a fact of life and this movie shows death in a great light. Death is not always the end, it’s sometimes the beginning, and sometimes it’s a chance to put things right, even if nobody living will know about it. Would you love somebody enough to lose them? To let them go?