We’re here today to state an empirical truth: Heart and Souls is Robert Downey Jr.’s best movie. If you disagree, I’m not going to do my usual schtick where I tell you I’ll see you in hell because frankly, I don’t have that kind of patience with your totally wrong take. No, in this case, we’re just gonna fight. Thems the breaks.
I recently rewatched the 1993 classic starring not only RDJ but Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, pre-verified-scumbag status Tom Sizemore, Elisabeth “I was in Adventures in Babysitting and you will respect me” Shue, and of course, mother f*cking Charles Grodin. DAMN, that is a cast. (Unrelated, but did you know Grodin is turning 85 next week, which means he was in his late 50’s in this movie and he was looking good? )
I don’t have time to explain why every other RDJ movie falls short of Heart and Souls. Frankly, I’d rather spend the time I do have celebrating this fantastic movie about people who died in a bus crash and instead of moving on to the next life, stuck around to teach a kid how to harmonize to Frankie Valli and The Four Season’s “Walk Like a Man.”
As you can see those are the lessons that stick with you because the kid turned into an adult (who happened to be Robert Downey Jr.) who still knew how to do it. You know how little I remember of the lessons I was taught when I was six?! A lot, actually because my dad used to let me stay up past my bedtime if I sang Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear” and I still know all the words to that song… See, Heart and Souls is true to life!
This movie makes me tear up every time because not only is it about being a ghost, one of my favorite states of being, but it’s also about second chances and people helping (and caring) about each other. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Kyra Sedgwick’s outfit in this movie is basically what I would like to wear every day, and if you know where a gal can buy street shoes that look like pink satin ballet slippers like in this movie, let me know please and thank you.
I could list every time I get goosebumps in this movie, but it basically corresponds to each ghost having the ability to right a wrong, or realize (and correct) their lost potential before it’s time to move on. That said, you’re a monster if you can keep it together when Alfre Woodard finally encounters her long-lost son, just before it’s time for her to move. A damned monster, I say. Alfre Woodard is very good in this movie, as she is in all movies.
Then there’s Elisabeth Shue, who I will always love, and this movie is no exception. The only reason Heart and Souls isn’t her best movie is because Adventures in Babysitting exists. Heart and Souls is a very close second, though.
Look by this time you either get it, or we’re gonna fight, so there’s probably no need to beat around the bush. I’ll see you by the flagpole at 3 pm. For those of you that agree though, I’m happy to tell you that if you have HBO in any of its many iterations, you can stream this movie for free right now. You’re welcome, and enjoy!
Header Image Source: Universal