It shouldn’t be this way, but every time a good deed is done in the “inspiring” It Could Happen to You (1994), it seems ersatz.  In large part this is because Nicolas Cage, in this Capra-like little film, lacks the liveliness and purity of heart of, say, James Stewart in Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.  Both are morally encouraging guys, but only one is truly authentic.

Ah, but Andrew Bergman‘s movie needs more verity in any case.  There is third-rate characterization in Rosie Perez‘s role, and an ending more moralistic than moral (with the punishing of both Perez and Stanley Tucci).  The acting is often a letdown except for that of Bridget Fonda, who provides the only depth the film possesses.  One critic opined that Fonda “isn’t at her best” in It Could Happen to You.  What nonsense.  She is superlative.