An endearing and misunderstood keeper that opens with a rousing Eric Burdon version of “Sixteen Tons.” Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) is a factory apparatchik diagnosed with a “Brain Cloud,” a progressively fatal condition. Joe — as in “your average Joe” — gets an offer from a millionaire (Lloyd Bridges) to make good on his life by traveling to the island of Waponi Woo where he’s expected to appease an annoyed god by jumping into an active volcano. With a Brain Cloud, why not?
Meg Ryan has the romp of her life playing a secretary and both of Bridges’ daughters, a vamp and an ingénue. John Patrick Shanley’s movie (he directed “Moonstruck”) is a fable about love, death, and the eclectic nature of humor. He makes up a delectable parallel world and delights in the effervescence of young Hanks and Ryan.