During the 1940s, Mike dies being a Good Samaritan to some people in need. In heaven, he falls in love with Annie, a "guide" who eventually departs to earth where she is to be born as Ally. Mike convinces Emmett, a manager of the Pearly Gates, to let him return to the world in order to find her. As Elmo, he has 30 years to locate his soulmate or lose her forever. This film makes a good case for love at first sight and for the idea that "heaven is where the future is born." The screenplay for this romantic comedy by Bruce A.Evans and Raynold Gideon makes the hereafter into a nifty place. It also affirms romantic yearning as the spice which often gives life its flavor. Timothy Hutton in his best performance since Ordinary People is earnest and endearing ass Mike/Elmo; Kelly McGillis exudes angelic beauty and sweetness as Ann/Ally. In minor roles, Maureen Stapleton shines as Mike's aunt who finds the next word to be a paradisical place and Ann Wedgeworth is especially winning as Mike's mother who experiences a bit of heaven on earth when she meets Elmo. Alan Rudolph's direction of this offbeat movie sparkles — it is, as he states, "a good old-fashioned fairy tale of destiny and love."