Brief synopsis?: a famous singer and womaniser, stuck in limbo for over half a century, is given the chance to get into heaven but he must change his ways and live his life correctly in the body of another womaniser and impersonator.
Is it any good?: Como Caído del Cielo is an enjoyable rom-com for the most part. At one-hundred-and-two minutes long, it is a little too long for a romantic comedy and the story loses its way a little towards the end but it is executed with such panache and gusto that it would take a cynical heart to dislike this film.
Spoiler territory: The spirit of Pedro Infante (Omar Chaparro) is trapped in limbo. He cannot get into Heaven because he was a womaniser. Conversely, the joy he brought to many through his films and music means that he is not eligible for Hell either. Pedro argues that he had helped many people fall in love and the only reason he had not settled down was that women, believing him to be a womaniser, never took him seriously.
Pedro Guadalupe Ramos (also Chaparro), a Pedro Infante impersonator, is in a coma and attached to a life support machine. His lover, Samantha (Stephanie Cayo) is kissing him and crying over his prostrate body when his wife, Raquel (Ana Claudia Talancón) comes into the room.
Samantha, who is also Raquel’s cousin, hastily gets off of the bed.
Raquel, a police officer and obviously knows that something was going on between her husband and cousin, brushes past her and goes to Pedro’s side. Raquel’s father, Silvano (Manuel ‘Flaco’ Ibáñez), comes into the room shortly afterwards. He has a priest with him and the doctor. He tells his daughter that it has been three months and the family cannot afford to keep paying the medical bills.
Raquel points out that they would be fine if he had not gambled away the money her work colleagues had raised. Samantha says she can help pay. Raquel gives her short shrift, explaining she has already paid the bills. She asks the doctor if her husband would survive if he was taken off the life support machine. The doctor tells her that it is only the machine keeping him alive.
Raquel agrees to have the machine turned off. Infante is told by his two custodians (Roger Montes and Itza Sodi), that he will be given an opportunity to prove his worthiness for Heaven. He will inhabit the body of another and prove his worth that way. He is not allowed to tell anyone who he is and must remain faithful and cannot asks about his past.
Pedro is taken off of the life support machine. As Raquel is mourning his death, Infante’s spirit goes into Pedro and he springs to life. Now in Pedro, Infante sees Raquel first but does not know who she is. Silvano tells him that it is his wife. Infante kisses her passionately.
Back in his neighbourhood, the locals have prepared a welcome home party. Pedro, who was also known for his womanising ways, is very different and Raquel’s sister, Paty (Rocio Verdejo) and niece, Milagros (Elaine Haro), notice. Later, in the evening, as they are getting ready for bed, Raquel tells Infante that she has made up the couch for him.
Infante is confused, are they not married? Should he not be sleeping in the marital bed? Raquel tells him that their marriage was not in the best place before he fell into a coma. Infante persuades Raquel to let him stay in the bedroom. The next day, Infante’s charms continue to win over Raquel.
Raquel goes to work and Infante comes out of the house to find Paty admonishing her husband, Bobby (Juan Pablo Monterrubio), because he has forgotten that he needs to take their daughter for a dress fitting for her quinceañera. A mortified Milagros runs home. Infante goes after her. They end up talking about Raquel. Milagros tells him that her mum has told her that he cheats a lot. Infante says that he is a changed man. She also tells him that Raquel does not want to get pregnant because she does not trust that Infante will stay around.
Pedro’s clothing is uncomfortable to Infante, so when his pants get torn from bending over, Infante puts on his mariachi clothes. Infante gets spotted by Chava (Axel Ricco), who excitedly runs up to him, thinking he has remembered he is an Infante impersonator. He calls Chema (Alan Gutiérrez), the other member of their trio. Infante is confused about what is going on. Chava tells him there is a Pedro Infante competition at the Tijuana fair. Infante wants to go.
Raquel, who is helping to police the fair, is surprised to see her husband on stage singing. especially as he had been told to rest by the doctor. She is miffed as Infante sings to Samantha, who is at the fair as the local beauty queen. Raquel is not the only one who is unhappy, as the town mayor, Alcalde (Marco Treviño) fumes at Samantha’s reaction.
Infante moves off from a surprised Samantha and heads to Raquel, serenading her in front of the entire town.
As the prizes for the best impersonator are being given out, Infante, who gets the runner-up prize, is given the award by his own granddaughter, Jenny (Yare Santana). She says that though her grandfather was a great singer he was not the best example of how to treating women well. Infante tries to talk to his granddaughter afterwards, hurt a little by her words. She tells him that he was the best Pedro Infante impersonator and should have won.
Pedro and Raquel head home. Their life is going well and, the next day, Raquel is about to leave for work when there is a knock at the door. She answers the door. It is a lawyer. He has divorce papers for her to sign. A furious Raquel chases him out of the house, even as he tries to protest his innocence.
A couple of the mayor’s men catch up with Infante and he runs off with them giving chase. Samantha drives past and rescues him. She drives them both to the border and into America. Raquel laments her situation to some of her work colleagues. She hides her sorrow when the chief enquires about what is going on.
Infante struggles against Samantha’s advances as she tells him that they planned to run away together. He tells her that he needs to convince his granddaughter that Infante was not a bad man. He goes to her college and finds out where Jenny works. He goes to her workplace to talk with her.
He meets Laura (Laura de Ita), who is the host at the restaurant, Heaven, that Jenny works at. She tells Infante when Jenny’s break is and he intercepts her during her break. He asks her why she has those thoughts about her grandfather. The conversation takes a different turn and Jenny does not answer the question. Infante gets a job as a dishwasher at the restaurant.
Whilst cleaning, infante helps out a young man who is trying to woo a girl by singing. Outside the restaurant, Infante intervenes for the young man again when he is attacked. Infante fights the attacker off, chasing him away. Infante tries to get back with Raquel but she is still too hurt to listen to him. He serenades her again but ends up dreaming about her and mistakenly kissing the local female drunkard, much to Raquel’s disgust.
Infante sleeps in the restaurant not wanting to go back to Samantha. Laura checks out the security videos and sees that Infante is staying in the restaurant. He asks Jenny about sexism. He goes to see Raquel again, this time bringing her flowers to try and win her over. She still is too angry to accept his apology.
Laura tries to seduce Infante but he manages to resist her. Infante contacts Milagros to find out how much Raquel owes for the medical bills. He goes on a television show to try and win some money. His impression of himself gets him the first prize of one thousand dollars. He is allowed to gamble it on three unknown options.
He picks number two and comes off worse. Meanwhile, Samantha, who is running a beauty business, is looking for Infante thinking he is missing. One of her beauty customers recognises him and tells her that he works at the restaurant. She heads to the restaurant. Raquel also turns up at the restaurant.
Infante causes a diversion and runs out of the restaurant. He comes back in to see Raquel who tells him that she is prepared to give their relationship another try if he is being sincere about changing. Unfortunately, Samantha catches up with them and Raquel is crushed as Samantha tells her that she and Infante had plans. Raquel leaves. Laura, who had witnessed the exchange, pulls Infante away from Samantha, telling her that he does not want to be with her.
One of the restaurant customers comes up to Laura and ends up in an altercation with Samantha. As the incident escalates, Infante escapes. He runs into the custodians again and they tell him he is out of time. He begs for more time. They tell him that he can have another week. He goes to see Jenny. He does not think he can get back with Raquel. She tells him the one thing she always admired about her grandfather is he never gave up.
She offers to sell a bracelet that was left to her by her father, handed down from her grandfather. Infante tells her not to. He is desperate to find a way to help Raquel. He goes to see Samantha, to tell her he does not love her but needs money to help Raquel. The conversation does not go well. She tells him she spent all her money. Samantha has a customer. It is the man he helped with his girlfriend and the attacker. He happens to run a boxing gym and needs sparring partners. He employs Infante.
Infante proves a little too enthusiastic and knocks out one of the contenders for the upcoming fight night. Infante says he will fight instead as he needs the money. With Raquel nearing divorce, Silvano tries to pair her with the police chief. Infante trains for his fight. The weekend comes and Infante fights. He will earn one thousand dollars for every round he survives.
Everyone comes to the fight but not Raquel. Samantha tries to get him to leave before the fight because the mayor is there and will try to kill him. Infante refuses. He gets in the ring and takes a beating for the first half of the fight. Infante wins the fight. He gets kidnapped by the mayor’s men.
Jenny calls Raquel, who is at Milagros’ quinceañera. Raquel calls her colleagues and they go after the mayor. They catch up with the mayor and rescue Infante. Samantha makes Raquel see how much Infante loves her. They go to Milagoras’ quinceañera and Raquel tells him she is expecting a child.
The custodians return and tell Infante that his time is nearly up. He has made it into Heaven. He wants to stay but they tell him he cannot. He returns to the party and sings with Jenny. He has a heart attack and dies.
Some time afterwards, at the baby shower, Raquel nephew shows her a video on his phone of all the film he shot of them together. The end.
Como Caído del Cielo is a lovely film inspired by the life and music of Pedro Infante. Utilising some wonderful music and with a charming central performance by Chapparo, Como Caído del Cielo is a highly enjoyable romcom and homage rolled into one. Written and directed by Jose Pepe Bojorquez, with an additional writing credit for Alfredo Felix-Diaz, the film takes a well-known figure in Pedro Infante and uses elements of his life – he was both a singer and a boxer – and creates a fantasy film that both warms the heart and amuses.
Along with Chapparo, Talancón is perfect as the long-suffering wife of Pedro Guadalupe Ramos who benefits from Infante inhabiting his body. Santana is also very good as the granddaughter of Infante. The character of Jenny is fictitious, though Infante does have a granddaughter, Lupita, who has an executive credit on the film. She is also a singer.
Nearing the two-hour mark, the film is, as I mentioned earlier, a little long. I still enjoyed on a second viewing but that is really because I like a good romcom and the performances are very good. The central story is very good and you root for Infante as he races to raise money to help Raquel and win her heart.
Him dying towards the end is truly sad and brave on the filmmakers part as they could have gone down the route of another excellent spirit-possession romcom of old, the brilliant Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie from 1978. At the end of that film, which very much goes along the same lines as Como Caído del Cielo, Beatty’s character lives on with his love.
Como Caído del Cielo only scores six point four on IMDB but that is from less than one thousand votes and as a non-English speaking film is not likely to get as many eyeballs as your Hollywood romcom. That being said, Como Caído del Cielo is definitely worth a watch. Delightful.