Dr. Maggie Rice

Can someone love but not touch? Feel but not see? Hear, yet remain deaf? She is in despair. She loses something very dear to her. She doesn’t know if she’ll ever get it back. Then Seth appears and everything becomes just as before. Better, in fact.

Meg Ryan as Dr. Maggie Rice in City of Angels
Meg Ryan as Dr. Maggie Rice in City of Angels

The film City of Angels tells the story of a surgeon (Meg Ryan) who questions her belief system soon after losing a patient. Some time after, she gains a friend—Seth (Nicolas Cage)—an angel. Women Who Wow Wednesday celebrates the life of Dr. Maggie Rice, the woman who can make angels want to become human.

Maggie and Seth
Maggie and Seth

They admire each other from a distance. She knows when he’s there. The storms may envelop her senses, but his presence comforts her. The warmth of his arms wrapped around her shoulders cradles her at night, lulling her to sleep.

“I don’t understand a God who would let us meet, if there’s no way we could ever be together.”

She’s also curious about Seth. He’s not like anyone she’s ever met. He’s different. Special. She hears about his history from a friend of his:

“Seth knows no fear. No pain. No hunger. He hears music in the sunrise. But he’d give it all up. He loves you that much.”

Maggie knows she’s not like him. She knows she will have to do something. She can’t see him anymore. It just isn’t right. So she visits him with the intention of making it the last time she talks with him. She says good-bye explaining the other man in her life asked her to marry him.

Dr. Maggie Rice
Dr. Maggie Rice

Seth doesn’t understand. How can she do that? How can she break his heart like so? Doesn’t she feel the same way? She doesn’t understand. Maggie makes him feel alive. Maggie makes him feel invincible. Maggie makes him feel…

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t wanna go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
When sooner or later it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

I can’t reveal how the story ends. In some ways, the story doesn’t have an ending. At least not the ending we would hope. But isn’t that how life is anyway? Perhaps like Maggie, we find love in the oddest places. And try as we may, it takes a lifetime to understand it. At the same time, maybe we were never meant to understand it. Maybe, just maybe, love is a growing process that takes time to nurture, trusting in its power to lead us to have faith to understand it some day.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Have you seen The City of Angels? What did you think of Maggie?

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16 thoughts on “Dr. Maggie Rice

  1. Forgive me for saying this in your comments, but that was one of the most F’ed up movies I have ever seen in my life. FanTASTIC movie, but just……omg.
    You wrote this waaaaaaaaaaaay better than I ever could/would have. Props for that, Jack.
    This is one of few movies that I’m sitting here wondering if I could actually watch for a second time (I’m a re-watcher). Now that I’m thinking that…I want to watch it again, maybe just to see if it makes me as angry a second time. -_-
    GAH!

  2. I had the same experience as Sandi described above. I LOVE this movie … but I never want to watch it again. I just can’t put myself through that!

  3. Seen it and it left me with questions. But my questions would just reveal the ending. So, I refrain.

    “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2

    • When you do watch it, come back and tell us what you think of it. It really is an amazing story that’s been with me for so long but didn’t know how to approach it in a post. I’m sure you’ll love it!

  4. I saw this movie once and it’s never entirely left me.

    But. I can’t watch it again. I like my stories bittersweet, but this…this just made me ache too much to watch again.

  5. I found City Of Angels a pure joy and a wonderful surprise, because it’s so rare to see a major Hollywood production that’s as joyously life-affirming as this one.
    I know some people felt let down by the ending and I can see why, but I’d have happily given up everything in a heartbeat for the 1998 vintage Meg Ryan in the guise of Maggie Rice!

    “I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.”

  6. This is an outstanding movie, Jack. You have written a great post to accompany it. I remember my cousin, who is a few years younger than I, she and i went to see it when it came out. We were both still quite young then. Afterwards, we stayed the night at my grandma’s house for it was the weekend. I woke up and i heard someone calling my name. My name was called twice. I got out of bed and checked on my cousin, who was still sleeping in her room, and I also checked on my grandparents, who were also still sleeping in their room. I didn’t know who had called my name. I asked them the next morning if they had called out my name. They had said no. I have asked people over the years about this and I have looked into it and prayed about it and the only conclusion I have drawn from it is maybe it was my guardian angel calling out to me. Idk. Or it could have been my overactive imagination too 🙂
    I really loved this movie. I loved the soundtrack. I still have it. The soundtrack and the plot of this movie is very haunting and very sad and still makes me cry to this day.

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