I’ve spent most of the past twenty-four hours or so sleeping. Much as I wanted to keep editing my current work-in-progress, a 102 degree fever changed my plans. I finally took some Advil around three o’clock … and woke up again around 4:30. The dark 4:30 – in the middle of the night. The 4:30 when I’m usually thinking about heading to bed instead of getting up, at least for a while.
Still too tired to do anything productive, I thought I’d head over to Netflix to watch another episode of White Collar, but I saw a 1993 Robert Downey Jr. movie I’d never heard of … Heart and Soul.
In a nutshell, the year is 1959 and Harrison, Penny, Julia, and Milo (Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, and Tom Sizemore) die in a bus accident the night Thomas is born. Their ghostly forms are transported to him – and that’s where they stay for the next thirty-plus years.
About a third of the movie deals with the moments leading up to the deaths of our guardian angels, and then their relationship with seven year old Thomas (played by Eric Lloyd, Charlie Calvin in The Santa Clause movies).
Thomas just loves his ‘imaginary’ friends, and they love him, too. The problem is, everyone thinks Thomas has some serious mental issues, and so the ghostly foursome decide it’s time to make themselves invisible. Not that they leave him – they couldn’t if they wanted to. They just know life will be better for him if he isn’t seen talking to people no one else can see.
Fast forward about twenty-seven years. Thomas has grown into a man who doesn’t form bonds with anyone. While he might care for them, he won’t let himself care too much. At the same time, the heavenly bus driver (David Paymer), the same one who caused the accident that killed Harrison, Penny, Julia, and Milo, returns. There was an error somewhere and he was supposed to pick them up more than twenty years ago. Thomas was supposed to help them take care of their unfinished business, so it’s time to move on.
Problem is, someone neglected to explain this to them. They convince the driver to give them a little more time, then try to figure out a way to make Thomas see them again. What follows is an amusing, heartwarming, sometimes sad story.
Based on the 11,086 viewers who rated the movie on IMDB, I’m not the only one who didn’t know this movie existed. There’s a little language in it, but pretty mild compared to most. All in all, I’m glad I chose to pass the time watching this story.
That said, however, it’s seven-thirty and time for me to get a little more sleep. Apparently eighteen or twenty hours out of the past twenty-four wasn’t enough.