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DOWN TO EARTH
USA: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Chris Rock, Regina King, Mark Addy, Eugene Levy, Frankie Faison, Greg Germann, Jennifer Coolidge, Chazz Palminteri, Jimmy DellaValle, Wanda Sykes
Director: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
Countries: Canada / USA
USA Rated: PG-13 for language, sexual humor and some drug references
UK Certificate: 12 contains moderate language and infrequent mild sexual and drugs references
USA Release Date: 16 February 2001
UK Release Date: 8 June 2001
It seems everyone is trying to get into heaven; at least those whose time is up. For Lance Barton (Chris Rock), a struggling comedian and bicycle messenger, it's the last thing on the mind. His due date upstairs is 50 years away. In the meantime, he's got big dreams to pursue on Earth, such as landing a slot at the final Amateur Night Contest at the famed Apollo Theatre. Trouble is - he isn't that funny.
Thanks to an overcautious emissary from heaven, Mr. Keyes (Eugene Levy), he's going to get hit (literally) with a much bigger problem. Showing that even God has difficulty finding good help these days, Mr Keyes mistakenly plucks Lance from a traffic accident - before it takes place. Transporting him to the Pearly Gates, or more accurately, the velvet roped-lines of the hottest club around, the error is finally addressed by Mr. King (Chazz Palminteri), the streetwise, no-nonsense head angel who manages the place.
Since returning to his own body on Earth is impossible, the urban dwelling Lance reluctantly agrees to a normally unthinkable proposal. He'll occupy the body of a wealthy old white mogul, Charles Wellington, until a more suitable body can be found.
Now living in a Park Avenue penthouse with servants and butlers Lance works on his streetwise comedy routine for the big Apollo showdown. You would think also that occupying the body of a callous old white man would be bizarre enough for Lance without him falling in love with Sontee (Regina King), the beautiful woman publicly battling Wellington's company at the same time. And if that wasn't enough, having to deal with the love affair between Wellington's wife (Jennifer Coolidge) and his personal assistant (Greg Germann), and their plot to have him killed.
Can reincarnation lead to self discovery, true love and a better stand up routine? Lance Barton is about to find out.