Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1

Angels and miracles have been very popular subjects recently in movies and TV shows. And MICHAEL is also about an angel, but a very unconventional one. In fact, he's just a regular looking guy who lives in a small town in Iowa, except he has a pair of angel wings on his back and performs some miraculous good deeds for an older lady (Jean Stapleton) he rooms with. Played by John Travolta, this angel is named Michael, and some newspaper reporters from Chicago come to investigate him and take him back to the big city for a publicity stunt. On the adventuresome auto trip to Chicago, it's clear that Michael likes to drink, smoke and get intimate with the ladies. Two of his traveling companions, played by William Hurt and Andie McDowell, also have a brief affair. But Michael's mission is to help others, so he comes to the aid of a small dog struck by a truck and sees to it that a single man and woman meant for each other agree to marry. The story has its touching moments and Travolta's performance gives the film humor and appeal, although the comedy could have been stronger.

Michael is a comical, likable sort, but it's disturbing to observe an angel as crude as he is. He doesn't apologize for being promiscuous and crude, and seems to revel in his lifestyle. It probably is permissible to employ some dramatic license in portraying angels, but this film takes too many liberties. It seems excessive and many will see it as offensive and irreverent. Also, the affairs of Michael and his companions are portrayed as quite acceptable, although they are implied and not shown. There is one bedroom scene, but no sex or nudity is present. Also, Michael uses a few obscenities, while another character uses an s-word, which is rather jolting. However, Michael does have a kind heart and carries out his mission of good deeds faithfully. Overall, though, MICHAEL turns out to be a lot less heavenly than seems appropriate.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10106

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Few (3) times (s-word once; slang referring to sex and male genitals)
Profanity: Once, regular (God)
Violence: Several Times - Moderate (bank building destroyed; angel and bull hit head on, hand fighting brawl in bar, dog killed by truck)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied twice, no nudity (couples go into motel room; bedroom scene, but no sex or nudity)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times (angel scratches crotch, angel attracted to women; slightly suggestive barroom dancing; reference to male genitals and being 'in heat')
Drug Abuse: Several times (beer drinking in house, bars and restaurants; angel smokes frequently)
Other: Men sing 'Thank you Jesus' in satirical manner; angel brings dog back to life
Running Time: 106 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)