Joe Gardner is conducting his middle school band class, when he is offered a full-time position with lots of benefits. However, Joe isn’t interested in that. Shortly after, he is given the opportunity to perform in a jazz show with celebrity Dorthea Williams. He gets super-excited as he walks down the streets of New York City… only for him to fall into a hole.
Joe discovers that his soul has been separated from his body and he is on his way to the great beyond. Desperate to get back into his body, Joe escapes the great beyond, but ends up in the great before. That is where souls gain personalities before they can enter Earth. Joe is assumed to be a mentor and is assigned to guide this difficult and annoying soul, 22.
After so many rejections from Earth, someone takes him to “the zone,” where Joe discovers that he is unconscious in the hospital. He and 22 fall into it – except that 22 ends up in Joe’s body and Joe ends up in the therapy cat, Moonwind’s, body. Unfortunately, no one, besides 22, can understand Joe as a cat as the others can only hear him meow. Joe has to help 22 to function in society from that point on.
I must admit how strongly executed the film was, ranging from the music-playing and the ideas of how souls find their personalities before earning their earth badges. I also admire how much physics went into this movie, such as when the antagonist, Terry, missed a count of the souls on his object with moving pieces. Speaking of which, I felt annoyed when Terry tried to take Joe away from his life.
However, 22 and Joe’s relationship does evolve. For example, 22 discovers how much she loves pizza while still in Joe’s body. She learns other things, too, like how to walk, get dressed, and much more. I won’t say how their relationship turns out, though.
But the film also provides a lot of twists and turns, both happy and sad. There isn’t too much predictability, which I appreciate.
Most important of all, I routed for Joe a lot. I yearned to see what would happen to him, how much jazz music meant to him, and how much I hoped that he would achieve his goals.
Overall, I would give this film 5 out of 5 stars and would gladly recommend it.