As forgettable as it is well-meaning, Maxie represents a stab at an old-fashioned sort of romantic fantasy, as well as first chance at a full-blown starring role for Glenn Close. A concoction like this needs lots of fizz, but the bubbly here has gone mostly flat, and what’s left evaporates quickly.
Much of the credit for keeping it alive at all must go to Mandy Patinkin, who shows himself to be a good-looking leading man with a rare light touch for romantic comedy.
Based on the novel Marion’s Wall by Jack Finney, Maxie tells the story of a dead person returning to inhabit the body of a living soul. Such is what happens to Close, the normal, cheerful wife of book specialist Patinkin. When he uncovers a message on the wall from a certain ‘Maxie’ who lived in the 1920s, Patinkin becomes quite taken with the jazz age flapper who bore a striking resemblance to his wife.
She has some very good comic moments, but Close may be too down-to-earth an actress for foolishness of this kind. The late Ruth Gordon, in her last film role, contributes another of her patented nutty neighbor turns.