City Of Angels

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

CITY OF ANGELS is a sweet but unbelievable love story about an angel and a surgeon falling in love. Seth (Nicolas Cage) is sent to the county hospital to watch over Maggie (Meg Ryan), a highly skilled surgeon. Seth becomes so attracted to Maggie that she feels his presence and he is able to let her see him. They begin a strange friendship that develops into love. Seth is one of dozens of angels who look human, dress in long black overcoats, and gather at sunrise and sunset on the Los Angeles beach. Besides the dying, young children and Maggie, one of Maggie's patients, Nathan Messinger (Dennis Franz), can see Seth. He tells Seth he too was an angel but opted to "give up eternity" so he could experience human feelings and emotions. Seth decides to become human so he and Maggie can be together. This strange love story makes little sense, and the characters are unconvincing. But the film still could prove to be popular.

CITY OF ANGELS is not anti-religion, but treats it neutrally. A devasted Maggie confides in her colleague and boyfriend that in the operating room she sensed her patient's death was out of her control, and in the hands of a higher power. Her boyfriend is afraid she will become one of those surgeons who prays in the operating room. A fellow angel explains to Seth that God's greatest gift to humans is free will, something angels don't have. Yet Seth makes the decision to become a human of his own free will. Seth explains to Maggie that as an angel, he has no feelings of hunger, pain or sexual desire. Yet he falls in love with her before he becomes human. He and Maggie have sex, a new experience for the angel, in a prolonged scene with explicit conversation, although they are photographed from the shoulders up. Maggie and boyfriend Jordan are sexually involved. They are shown in bed together once, with sex implied. Nathan's bare rear is shown as he runs into the surf naked, and a brief side view of Seth in the shower is the only other nudity. Unnecessary foul language includes eight s-words and three regular profanities, plus some crude references to women's anatomy. There is very little violence, but some surgery scenes are bloody, and Seth is beaten up by thugs once. Foul language, nudity and a sex scene make CITY OF ANGELS unsaintly.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 3, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Many (10) times (s-word 8, other 2)

Profanity: Several(5) times - Regular 3 (J 2, C 1), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times - Moderate (gun threats in robbery, man beaten by thugs, man leaps off building with minor injuries; fatal accident off camera)

Sex: Once (prolonged, graphic conversation, nudity implied); implied once (unmarried couple in bed)

Nudity: Twice (rear male nudity as man runs into surf); near nudity (side view of man in shower)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (crude references to women's anatomy, sex)

Drugs: Cigarette smoking

Other: Contradictory statements made about powers of angels; surgeon becomes aware of a spiritual higher power

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.