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Hello Again (1987) - Plot Summary Poster

(1987)

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Synopsis

  • Lacy Chadman (Shelley Long) is a Long Island housewife and day-care center volunteer who feels inadequate as she dresses for a black-tie dinner hosted by doctors at Knickerbocker Hospital in New York City, where her husband Jason Chadman (Corbin Bernsen) is a plastic surgeon. Jason, who specializes in doing noses, reminds Lucy they must attend the party as he is one of the candidates being considered to become chief of plastic surgery. However, once at the party, few people will talk to Lucy once they learn she is merely a housewife, and she embarrasses herself and her husband with her klutzy behavior.

    The next day, Lucy laments about the situation to her sister, Zelda (Judith Ivey), who runs the metaphysical bookstore, Cosmic Light Books. Zelda casts a spell invoking master magicians into Lucy's life.

    Later, Lucy throws a garden party catered by her eighteen-year-old son, Danny (Thor Fields), who has been accepted at Columbia University, but would prefer to be a chef instead. Lucy's longtime friend Kim Lacey (Sela Ward) attends the party and offers to help Lucy buy a more sophisticated wardrobe. Kim, whose third husband recently died, and Lucy were rivals for Jason's affections in college. After the party, Lucy worries she is not stimulating enough for Jason and suggests they have another child. Jason says he is perfectly happy with Lucy and will enjoy having the house to themselves.

    A few days later, after going shopping for clothes with Kim, Lucy stops by Zelda's store. She eats a South Korean chicken ball and begins choking. She unsuccessfully tries to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself, then collapses. An ambulance rushes her to the emergency room at Knickerbocker Hospital where Dr. Kevin Scanlon (Gabriel Bryne) tries to revive her. Lucy opens her eyes long enough to see Scanlon's face, then dies.

    One year later.

    Zelda receives a shipment of books from the estate of a white witch. One of the books contains a spell for conquering death in people who died before their time. Zelda goes to the cemetery and chants the spell over Lucy's grave and soon Lucy appears to her. Zelda faints, while Lucy, who does not know she died a year earlier, wonders how she got to the graveyard. When they return to the store, Zelda tries to explain what has happened, but Lucy dismisses the idea of her death. She takes $20 from Zelda's purse and goes home to Long Island, only to find that someone else is living in her house.

    The next morning, Lucy goes to Knickerbocker Hospital asking to see her records. Scanlon informs her that Lucy Chadman died a year ago and that Jason Chadman is now head of plastic surgery. Scanlon performs some tests on Lucy, all of which match the hospital's records from a year ago.

    Later, Lucy goes to the high-rise apartment building where Jason now lives and is stunned to find Jason and Kim are married. After the initial shock wears off, Jason tries to comprehend how Lucy could come back to life. He takes Lucy to see their son, Danny, who is now the head chef at Felicity restaurant. Danny is also shocked to see his mother alive, but introduces her to restaurant owner Felicity Glick (Madeleine Potter), who is his new bride. Danny warns Lucy they cannot let the news of what Zelda did get out. Knowing someone can come back from the dead would change people's view of life.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Scanlon questions Zelda about Lucy and her spell. Zelda informs him that the spell has a footnote stating the resurrected person must find true love before the first full moon or she will die again. Scanlon thinks Zelda is trying to act as a matchmaker and advises her not to tell Lucy, otherwise she will wear herself out looking for true love.

    The next day at the hospital while Scanlon runs more tests on Lucy, Jason sees her and worries that others will recognize her. He advises her to start a new life somewhere else. Lucy reminds him they are still married, but Jason responds that she is legally dead. Lucy takes off her wedding ring and later Jason gives their dog, Flippy, to her.

    Scanlon wants to study Lucy more closely, suggesting that she can offer insights into death. The two spend many hours chatting and laughing. Lucy tells him she never laughed while married to Jason. Lucy wants to open a day care center at the hospital, but Scanlon warns the hospital board will never agree.

    Lucy and Zelda go to see billionaire Hastings Lacy, Jr. (Austin Pendleton), the son of Kim's late husband. Hastings Jr. is immediately attracted to Zelda and agrees to fund the day care center. When Lucy begins fixing up the day care center space, one of the doctor's wives recognizes her and calls the newspapers.

    At a press conference when a reporter asks if Lucy has anything to say to the people of the world, she replies, "Hello again." Over the next several days, the press follow Lucy everywhere as they describe her as "the woman who came back to life".

    Meanwhile, business is booming at Zelda's bookstore and at Felicity's restaurant thanks to their connection to Lucy. However, with the press creating chaos trying to interview Scanlon, the hospital administrator puts him on leave of absence.

    A few days later, Jason comes to Lucy saying he wants her back. She replies that she has moved on and gives him a goodbye kiss. However, Kim sees this kiss and becomes angry. She calls a press conference and announces that Lucy faked her death a year ago. Kim says as a doctor's wife, Lucy had access to drugs that lowered her metabolic rate to simulate death. Soon, all the parents take their children out of Lucy's day care and the hospital administrator fires her. Meanwhile, people on the street scorn Lucy and business is down at the bookstore and the restaurant.

    Another few days later, Lucy's arrival at the opening of the new plastic surgery wing upsets the guests. Zelda then appears and casts a spell calling for Hastings Lacey, Sr., Kim's late husband, to come to them. Lucy begins speaking in Hastings Sr.'s voice. Hastings shares intimate details about his life with Kim, who admits that Lucy did die and did come back to life. With that information, Lucy announces she was merely pretending to be Hastings. The hospital administrator gives Scanlon his job back. Scanlon says he loves Lucy and wants to be with her. Zelda says it is true love. Lucy and Scanlon embrace and kiss.

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