• Publication date: November 1, 2011

Touched by the Unseen City of Angels: Love at the Crossroads of Life & Death

Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) is a secular heart surgeon, unconvinced that a spiritual world or afterlife exists. As a practitioner of medicine she has been trained to search for empirical evidence in all situations; therefore any theoretical or theological claims without tangible proof are immediately dismissed. An otherworldly experience will ultimately challenge Rice's thinking though, while simultaneously touching her heart and soul.

Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) is a secular heart surgeon, unconvinced that a spiritual world or afterlife exists. As a practitioner of medicine she has been trained to search for empirical evidence in all situations; therefore any theoretical or theological claims without tangible proof are immediately dismissed. An otherworldly experience will ultimately challenge Rice's thinking though, while simultaneously touching her heart and soul.

During what would ordinary be a routine heart operation, Maggie struggles to revive a man who has suddenly slipped into cardiac arrest. The doctor is a perfectionist who refuses to accept defeat, even when it is seemingly beyond her control. Indeed, her patient's time had already been written, and no amount of effort could have saved him.

As a testament to that an angel had entered the operating room preceding his death, tasked to escort the man's soul to heaven. Upon the angel's arrival Maggie feels a strange presence in the room, despite no observable causes. At that moment the angel, named Seth (Nicolas Cage) had laid his eyes upon her, and immediately fell in love.

Invisibility initially prevents Seth from introducing himself to Maggie, at least until fellow angel Cassiel (Andre Braugher) explains how. No longer hidden to the world, Seth approaches the doctor and introduces himself. The two form a close friendship, but Maggie is frightened to discover Seth's immunity to injury. Up until this point Seth concealed his true identity, a truth so extraordinary that any person would question his sanity -- and quite likely end the relationship.

Nevertheless Maggie maintains feelings for Seth, forcing her to make a difficult decision after receiving a colleague's wedding proposal. The prospect of marrying a spiritual being visible to only her, and incapable of romantic relations seems bleak. When Seth meets a jolly man named Nathaniel (Dennis Franz) however, a possible solution is revealed.

City of Angels performed beyond expectations at the box office earning nearly $200 million, effortlessly recuperating its $55 million budget. The picture was nominated for multiple awards, including a Golden Globe, Grammy, and MTV Movie Award. Its soundtrack features performances by Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, U2 and many more.

Year: 1998

Duration: 114 minutes

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Thriller

Starring:

Nicolas Cage

Meg Ryan

Dennis Franz

Andre Braugher

Director: Brad Silberling

Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexuality including explicit language, and some nudity.