City of Angels and Hurlyburly

I was worried about watching City of Angels again. It’s based on one of my favourite films, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and I was concerned that an American remake wouldn’t do the original justice. I was wrong.
Dr Maggie RiceCity of Angels tells the story of a surgeon (Meg Ryan) who questions her belief system soon after losing a patient. In this time of turmoil she gains a friend in the form of Seth (Nicolas Cage) who is an angel.They admire each other from a distance. She knows when he’s there and his presence comforts her. The warmth of his arms cradle her at night, lulling her to sleep.
Seth Looks OnCage is unusually endearing here, and Seth is an unusually feminine character. The angel’s naivety extends to intimate matters, and when Meg asks him how ‘it’ feels, she seems more dominant and he more submissive. It’s unusual to see in a Hollywood film, and unusual for the characters that Cage has tended to play.
Angelic MaggieCity of Angels teaches us that love between species is always bound to fail; Seth has to ‘fall’, literally from the top of a half-constructed skyscraper in order to secure a relationship with Maggie, although we might as well just call her Meg Ryan, the woman who can make angels want to become human.
Maggie and FiancéI can’t reveal how City of Angels ends. In some ways, the story doesn’t have an ending. At least not the ending we would hope for. But isn’t that life? Perhaps like Maggie, we’ll find love in the oddest of places, and try as we might, we’ll never understand how or why.

Hurlyburly (1998)The second film of Meg’s three-fer in 1998 was Hurlyburly. Adapted from a stage play and featuring the likes of Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Anna Paquin and Robin Wright, Hurlyburly explores the salacious side of Hollywood, the agents, the unemployed actors and the topless dancers. Women exist in Hurlyburly to be bruised and abused; literally, in the case of Meg Ryan’s BonnirBonnie (Meg Ryan)Puncturing her girl next door image, Meg plays a promiscuous erotic dancer who gets thrown out of her own moving car. Ryan could have been similarly thrown away in the film; but she more than holds her own. Daring to don the most wondrous of Wonderbras, Hurlyburly‘s Bonnie is another confident, strong and invulnerable character in the ouevre of Meg Ryan. A woman who takes the knocks and keeps going forward, in a world far removed from the New York of You’ve Got Mail and Meg’s third film of the year. More on that story later…

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “City of Angels and Hurlyburly

  1. I was surprised how much I did enjoy City of Angels. Notably for Meg and how it used my hometown to retell Wender’s Wings of Desire.

  2. imustseemovie.com

    Me too, wasn’t a bad movie it was actually good!

  3. Paul S,

    “We might as well just call her Meg Ryan, the woman who can make angels want to become human.”

    Well said buddy. 🙂

    RR

    • Oh, I’d have given up everything in a heartbeat for the 1998 vintage Meg Ryan!

    • Sweet memories Back to The late 90’s. It was wonderful to know Meg Ryan from a brazilian TV 📺 broadcast watching When a Man Loves a Woman into South Brazil Fall’98 then I’ve a high school expedition to São Paulo and I’ve seen Meg Ryan everywhere on ads about City of Angels on premiere days…It was that Way which I’ve fell in Love with her…
      1998 Meg Ryan enchanted my life for eternety💕❤

  4. RB

    I’ve got a free Netflix trial for the next year, and I’m pretty sure I saw “Hurlyburly” among the titles without even knowing what it was. The title was odd and didn’t pique my interest, but I’m now off to search for both of these films and hopefully can start watching one of them.

    • Knowing what I know about your taste in movies I definitely wouldn’t recommend Hurlyburly. Meg is only in the film for 20 minutes and while I enjoyed watching her scenes with Sean Penn, I wouldn’t touch the rest of the film with a barge pole.
      Is Prelude to a Kiss available on Netflix? If so, I’m sure you’d find that one far more enjoyable.

      • RB

        I REALLY should have checked back here before attempting to watch the movie. You are spot on as always. While I gave it an honest attempt…… Hurlyburly was disturbing at first and eventually unwatchable – I never even saw Meg’s role. I like Kevin Spacey a lot but he couldn’t save it.
        OK…. so, on to Prelude!

        • Oh, excuse me if further overdid my reviews, but I’m becoming sick for huge crush for Meg Ryan … but a healthy way. It’s a true love that I can feel in my soul. I want to die like A eternal in love with Meg Ryan. She makes me dream in life, despite the hardships things or .something that on purpose do, wipe this blaze of passion ….Meg Ryan. a certain sunshine of my life ,the serene fondness of moonlight,In the swing of mirth on ocean waves,The ceaseless flame that burns our hearts…
          then Brazil still never met a Meg Ryan fan of this magnitude
          With love of her eternal fan

          E.Bandeira …..Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil May, 22´ 1998

  5. Really, it was an unforgettable golden 1998, Meg Ryan´s era. She was a kind of Marilyn Monroe at least once a year. Also I have an overwhelming crush on her. I can´t forget these wonderful memories which Meg Ryan rendered into my life!

    • A golden era for our golden lady and who could match her wonderful work in the late 80s and early 1990s, when she was Hollywood’s go-to girl?
      When Harry Met Sally…, Prelude to a Kiss, Flesh and Bone, Addicted to Love. Unbeatable stuff. Meg had such incomparable star charisma and depth. She is, and always will be the one. So different. So real. So majestic.

      • Wow! that invigorating comment about “our golden lady Meg Ryan,” I thought so beautiful manifestation of the feelings you describe about our “eternal diva cinema of the 90s were so many delicious moments of the year 1998 Meg Ryan earned in my life an infinite pride that remains to this day The lifetime tries to erase with other new moviestars, but no one reaches Meg´s parameters even Pffeifer, Winona Ryder Julia Roberts, Bullock neither even in smoking rates as Meg Ryan played in both films made between the periodic phase Sleepless in Seattle, IQ when she starred in Flesh & Bone and when a Man Loves a Woman both rotated in the hollydays of 1992-93 to be released in theaters at later U.S winter 1994 then, i´ve loved much see her smoking in performances that sounds something… so surreally sexy into “90´s Meg Ryan” serving based elegance and glamor performancing enhancing and rendered a certain sexual fetish.
        However, I can not forget these moments of rejoicing that Meg Ryan gave me that stunning decade, Wow! as Meg was a kind Mighty Girl which i call about Meg (M.E.G Mighty Enchanting Girl), especially between 1993-1999 dictating trends, she became “the queen of moviestars” that memorable year 1998 which Meg Ryan pervaded huge success in Brazil and they only spoke about her after became to outshine Leonardo DiCaprio´s Stradom and came even steal him spotlight. I Miss 1998´Meg Ryan and I would love to revive every second of that era,which was a time of as much happiness in my life that it stayed behind.
        Meg Ryan was glowing,into “Santo-Graal” of stardom of kindness, Charm, Beauty. her picture was all over the place in Brazil in buses billboards, in movies on board, on mag covers,Special interviews, on TV schedules, on tabloid TV news, grid special feature TV film programs, hairstyle fashion Pictures in salons , movie posters, and even on glamorous, French World Cup´98 Meg Ryan appeared in a Soccer event? It sounds strange, but France regarded the homeland of romanticism then fit perfectly on Meg, but here in Brazil it was the number one of the most powerful and glamorous actresses of that year ordering other movie stars to fade away from the globemap. Ohhhh,how meg Ryan was hot, mighty, lovely and fascinating….I miss her powerful era

        (*tears that represents a sublime memory of a patterned pride everything Meg Ryan did in my life, so many divine moments).

        Thank GOD “There´s Meg Ryan” and there was the 90s and She exists in my life deep in my soul and in my heart and there is this passion to face the hardships from one world on the verge of a crisis, financial collapse human, seeking to appease the soul in a gleaming smile of a Meg Ryan that radiates miles away, getting to be unfair to have sadness in her presence and be derogatory to her It´s unfair what they are doing for Meg nowadays…I ask the Lord that she would never be forgotten
        anyone forget that one era Meg was Younger and Graceful
        and I’m afraid that one day, Meg Ryan comes pass away.
        cause times goes by but the passion and fascination with her increases
        God gave me into 1998 a True Love called Meg Ryan to enchanting my life,proud of my life, and sweeten my life.”MY ETHERNAL SWEETHEART”.. I LOVE YOU MEG***(tears)

  6. Oh, excuse me if further overdid my reviews, but I’m becoming sick for huge crush for Meg Ryan … but a healthy way. It’s a true love that I can feel in my soul. I want to die like A eternal in love with Meg Ryan. She makes me dream in life, despite the hardships things or .something that on purpose do, wipe this blaze of passion ….Meg Ryan. a certain sunshine of my life ,the serene fondness of moonlight,In the swing of mirth on ocean waves,The ceaseless flame that burns our hearts…
    then Brazil still never met a Meg Ryan fan of this magnitude
    With love of her eternal fan

    E.Bandeira …..Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil May, 22´ 1998

  7. Oh,about her 98´s stunning movies sure, Meg overdid much than her own abilities,She was so majestic perfoming about City of Angels, also HurlyBurly here came on Brazil in VHS earlier Fall´99. then,You´ve Got M@il was a Blockbuster brazilian theathers for over 5 months and Meg Ryan´s face was scattered everywhere in Brazil since Amazonia Forests to São Paulo Cosmopolitan skylines,Curitiba´s Eco´shades Downtown, Rio´s spot beaches, until Nordeste´s backwoods and Rio Grande do Sul Pampa´s landscapes….

    Oh…Meg Ryan was everywhere onto Brazil that days a her movie aboard an coach bus into BR-116 highway “watching Flesh & Bone,” a haircut “Pixiecut” onto mall salon, a phone card, a huge ad in a building of São Paulo about movie City of Angels, 50 Meg´s pics in a subway on Porto Alegre .. a soccer pitch movie theater needed coming three trucks to broadcast “Addicted to Love” in a impoverished village in Rio de Janeiro.. In a TV workshop going through her classics like “Joe Versus the Volcano or Innerspace” into a rainy evening session TV movies. Meg Ryan in a small matchbox, or she featured on a spot magazine cover in a huge airport lounge,or a canvas painting even about FM radios promo movie City of Angels award valentines day programming… 1998 was an Meg Ryan´s in Brazil overwhelming raid

  8. I think Wings of Desire is a very special movie. The imagery and soundtrack of City of Angels were very prevalent the year I graduated high school and it certainly kicked off the Black Duster phase but I think the marketing of the movie did not prepare people for that third act. Now Meg Ryan in that Wonderbra in Hurlyburly would certainly make any Angel want to be a human.

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