All of Me plays more like an old-fashioned screwball comedy than a contempo film, its premise of a woman dying and her soul inhabiting half of another person’s body in the same vein as Here Comes Mr Jordan. When he is not arranging divorce settlements for rich husbands, Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) is a jazz guitarist. Martin’s troubles really start on his 38th birthday when he inherits the soul of departing heiress and first-rank crank Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin). Circumstances under which this occurs, assisted by guru Prahka Lasa (Richard Libertini), are patently ridiculous, but acceptable because of the charm of the characters.
Screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson [working from Ed Davis’ novel Me Two, adapted by Henry Olek] has created enough interesting situations for the Martin-Tomlin mismatch. Urinating, shaving and making love take on new proportions when a man and woman are trying to do it in the same body.
For all its clowning, All of Me makes some good points about taking chances and doing what you want in life. Tomlin undergoes a transformation from a crabby sheltered poor little rich girl to a compassionate woman. It’s a measure of her performance that even as a sourpuss she’s irressistible.