Chances Are Blu-ray Review

When reviewing Robert Downey Jr.’s pre-addict and pre-Iron Man resume, CHANCES ARE sticks out to me as the movie that shows the biggest signs of his impending stardom.  When you boil it down, CHANCES ARE is not a good film, but Robert Downey Jr.’s performance and his incredible likeability shine through and it’s hard not to get emotionally attached to his character, even if the whole premise is a little creepy.  Although Cybill Shepherd technically headlines the film, this is made watchable by Robert Downey Jr.  Despite the creepy incest angle and the supernatural element that isn’t handled well, the charismatic performance of Robert Downey Jr. carries the film and the audience can’t help but root for him in everything he does.

Chances Are

We start in the 60’s, where Louie is living happily with his new bride, Corinne.  But fate has other ideas for Louie and he gets hit by a car and dies.  While waiting in line in heaven, Louie becomes bound and determined to get back to earth.  Heaven obliges, but they forget to erase his memories before reincarnating him and Louie ends up back on earth.  Obviously, this is where the supernatural element comes in and instead of going the serious route, ala GHOST, CHANCES ARE takes on the more silly approach and makes it more of a joke.  We then flash-forward twenty something years, where Louie’s daughter, Miranda, sparks a romance with Alex, who we later learn is Louie reincarnated.  It should be noted that the movie takes no sides on religion and the scene in “heaven” is really just an attempt to explain how Louie’s soul gets transplanted to Alex.

Chances Are

The first rule of a romantic comedy is that you stay away from incest.  Well, I don’t know if that’s the first rule, but it’s definitely in the top five.  Incest makes everything uncomfortable and there’s a little of that going on in CHANCES ARE, although to be fair, the audience doesn’t officially learn that Alex is Louie until after Alex and Miranda kiss.  But still, it’s weird and a little twisted, which makes things awkward, especially any time Alex and Miranda are on screen together.  The ending implies that there was always something between Alex and Miranda and again; incest is creepy.  To make matters worse, there’s another love story between Alex (fully as Louie) and Corinne that just makes you want to take a shower afterwards.  But keep in mind this is a romantic comedy, so the conflicting tones tend to make the movie fell uneven.  The tone of the film is so off that it seems like the script by Perry and Randy Howze could have gone either the rom-com or darkly dramatic route.

Chances Are

CHANCES ARE was director Emile Ardolino’s follow up to DIRTY DANCING and although it obviously didn’t find the same level of success, it’s a fun, light-hearted film featuring a great early performance from Robert Downey Jr.  The film has its problems, but his performance coupled with the romantic storyline ends up saving it.  Plus, we get one of the better duets of all time as Cher and Peter Gabriel belt out ‘After All’ as the end credits roll.


Video:  This is not the best Blu-ray transfer out there, but I’m appreciative that Image and RLJ Entertainment spent the time to release this on Blu-ray.

Audio: The audio is fine.


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