US movie (1984). Kings Road. Pr Stephen Friedman. Dir Carl Reiner. Spfx Bruce Steinhemmer, Optical House. Screenplay Henry Olek, Phil Alden Robinson. Based on Me Two by Ed Davis. Starring Jason Bernard (Tyrone Wattell), Eric Christmas (Fred Hoskins), Dana Elcar (Burton Schuyler), Richard Libertini (Prahka Lasa), Steve Martin (Roger Cobb), Madolyn Smith (Peggy Schuyler), Victoria Tennant (Terry Hoskins), Lily Tomlin (Edwina Cutwater). 93 mins. Colour.
Wealthy dying heiress Cutwater hires oriental mystic Prahka Lasa to arrange the transmigration of her Soul into the body of the stableman's beautiful daughter (and crook) Terry, the latter having agreed that her own soul will be liberated to "become one with the Universe". Hardbitten civil lawyer and part-time jazz guitarist Cobb is called in to help draw up the will leaving Cutwater's millions to "Terry". He protests, but Cutwater dies suddenly and the bowl in which Lasa has temporarily housed Cutwater's soul is dropped on Cobb's head, so that half his body is possessed (> Possession) by Cutwater's independent soul. At last all is sorted satisfactorily.
AOM has many weaknesses, notably Libertini's patronizing "goodness gracious me" turn as Prahka Lasa. It also suffers a crisis much like that of the possessed Cobb: presumably intended to be a Steve Martin vehicle, the movie is stolen by Tomlin (and, among the lesser parts, Bernard). Nevertheless, this is Martin's best movie. The moral – Cobb realizes his life as a lawyer has been every bit as sterile as Cutwater's life chained to a wheelchair and the family millions – while not novel, is lovingly handled; and the movie as a whole leaves a good taste. [JG]
see also: Identity Exchange.