When amateur comedian Lance Barton (Chris Rock) finds himself at Heaven’s door, he is convinced there has been a mistake. 

Miraculously he is right. Since returning to his own body is not an option, a heavenly agent places him into the corpse of a rich Manhattan mogul who has just been bumped off by his wife — until a more suitable replacement can be found. Ironically, it is as this strange new person that Lance ultimately discovers his true self, falls in love and improves his comedy act in the process.

It seems everyone is trying to get into Heaven; at least those whose time is up. For Lance Barton, a struggling comedian and able bicycle messenger, his due date upstairs isn’t for another 43 years. In the meantime, he has big dreams to pursue on Earth, including a crucial Amateur Night Contest at the famed Apollo Theatre. Hampering Lance’s dream however, is one little problem – he ain’t that funny.

Living in the body of a wealthy old white man is bizarre enough for Lance without falling in love with the beautiful woman (Regina King) publicly battling Wellington’s company. Complicating matters further is the love affair between Wellington’s wife (Jennifer Coolidge) and his personal assistant (Greg Germann), both of whom also plot to have the old man killed. 

Living in this most unlikely world, Lance discovers his true inner self, enabling him to finally tap into his potential to reach his dreams.



June 08, 2001


Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz


Elaine May & Warren Beatty (1978 screenplay 'Heaven Can Wait')


United International Pictures (UIP)


Comedy, Romance, Fantasy




87 minutes