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Parents' Guide to


By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Gentle, kind comedy has smoking, drinking, sex references.

Movie PG 1996 105 minutes
Michael movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Director Nora Ephron knows her way around feel-good. Overshadowed by her bigger hits You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, Michael is a huge-hearted road movie with a touch of magic that's well worth seeking out. Travolta is excellent as the smoking, drinking miracle worker. Michael is a surprisingly complex character and Travolta hits every target along the spectrum that gets us lost in the movie's gentle world. Even its edges are rounded in the nicest possible way. Women are drawn to Michael -- the Travolta's undeniable charisma is one reason, the character's aroma of cookies and cakes is the cherry on top. We even get a sensual but light-hearted Travolta dance sequence that's equal parts Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever.

Michael may be an angel, but this isn't a religious movie. Nor is it an anti-religion movie. It's a movie about appreciating what you've got, making an effort to be kinder, savoring the moment, and learning to love. It's also a road movie. For its short runtime, there's nobody more pleasant to travel with than Travolta's angel, Hurt's crabby journalist, Andie MacDowell's wannabe country singer, polite charmer Huey (Robert Pastorelli), and his pet dog, Sparky. By the time the group have completed their journey from Iowa to Chicago, everyone's a whole lot happier -- viewer included.

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