An aspiring but faltering stand-up comedian has a traffic accident, passes away and is sent to heaven. There, two angels decide to send the comedian back to earth in somebody elses body, a white businessman who is making a hash of running a community hospital.

1
Very little is made of one aspect in which the film differs from its predecessors - the racial theme.

Lance Barton, Chris Rock, is an unsuccessful stand-up comic who, after being hit by a truck, winds up in heaven where the boss, Chazz Palminteri, soon realises his death was premature. The solution is to give him a new body - that of a wealthy, white, business tycoon. Trouble is, the old man`s just been murdered by his wife, Jennifer Coolidge, and her lover, Greg Germann. While trying to avoid being killed again, Lance sets about romancing Sontee, Regina King... Down To Earth is a particularly ham-fisted remake of two Hollywood favourites - Here Comes Mr. Jordan, which was made in 1941 and starred Robert Montgomery, and Heaven Can Wait, made in 1978 with Warren Beatty. Both the earlier films were immeasurably better than this one, which has been poorly directed by Chris and Paul Weitz, the brothers responsible for American Pie. Very little is made of one aspect in which the film differs from its predecessors - the racial theme. Given a situation in which everyone in the film sees a rich old white man but hears a jive-talking black man, there was surely room for some original comedy. But this tired effort never gets close, and Rock`s strident personality works completely against the charm of the material.