Alex Finch

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I've been feeling very strange lately.Louie before being reincarnated as Alex

Alex Finch is the hero from the 1989 movie Chances Are. He brings a corrupt judge to justice, helps a grieving widow move on from her deceased husband, and helps his friend marry his lifelong love.

He is a 22 year old male who has graduated recently from Yale University. He is the reincarnated soul of Louie Jeffries and temporarily recalls Louie's memories for most of the film. By the end of the film, Louie's memories are eventually removed from Alex's mind by an angel allowing Alex to live a normal life.

He is portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., who also portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's films, and Dr. John Dolittle in Dolittle.

Heroic actions

Chances Are Louie Jeffries (Christopher McDonald) on his one year anniversary.png
Louie before his death.
At the beginning of the film, a man named Louie Jeffries is about to marry a woman named Corinne in 1963. Before Corinne walks down the aisle towards the altar, Louie's best friend Philip Train whispers to Louie that he also loved Corinne. The wedding happens without incident. One year later, Louie and Corinne plan to celebrate their one year anniversary with a dinner in a nice restaurant. On that morning, Louie learns that Corinne is pregnant with their first child. During the day, Louie works as a lawyer. He loses a case because the judge suppresses key evidence in the prosecution of a notorious criminal. Later on, Louie secretly takes a photograph of the judge accepting a bribe from the criminal. At the end of the workday, Louie buys a pair of diamond earrings as an anniversary present. Unfortunately, Louie is hit by a car and dies instantly.

In heaven, Louie talks with the angels asking to go back to his life. However, this is not a possibility. Louie learns that souls can only go back to Earth by being born again. After talking with an angel named Omar, Louie takes the opportunity to be reborn as a baby boy in Cleveland. This baby boy is going to be Alex Finch. In his haste, Omar forgets to give Louie an inoculation that erases a soul's memories of his/her previous life.

Chances Are Louie Jeffries (Christopher McDonald) and Corinne (Cybill Shepherd) enjoying the morning of their one year anniversary.png
Louie and Corinne still madly in love with each other after being married for a year.
Twenty-three years later, Alex Finch is working in a library and it is his last day before he graduates from Yale University. He helps out a woman named Miranda with her troubles from overdue books. Both never plan to see each other ever again. After Alex graduates, he goes to Washington DC. He sneaks his way into the office of the Washington Post to get an interview with the head editor. However, the editor cannot hire him because he has zero experience in the actual field of journalism. The editor recommends Alex to find a small newspaper and work his way up. Philip Train who works at the Washington Post saw what happened to Alex. Philip wants to help out Alex and invites Alex to a nice dinner. Secretly, Philip sees Alex as a great potential husband for his goddaughter and uses the dinner as an opportunity for the two to meet.

When Alex arrives at Philip's home he is greeted by Miranda, the woman he helped at Yale. Both are surprised that they meet again. Alex also meets Corinne, Miranda's mother. Alex helps with the dinner preparations. He is shown to be falling in love with Miranda. During the dinner, Alex's memories of being Louie Jeffries resurface. He begins acting very weird, but everyone shrugs this off as a side effect of Alex drinking too much wine. Alex falls asleep in the guest room.

Chances Are Alex Finch (Robert Downey Jr) talking with Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd) before she knows he is Louie.png
Corinne and Alex before she believes Alex is Louie.
The next day, Alex wakes up. He goes to the kitchen and gets a drink of orange juice. He is surprised when Corinne walks in. Inside his mind, Alex knows he was Corinne's husband. After a brief conversation, Alex learns that Corinne always loved Louie for the past 23 years. Alex watches as Corinne leaves for her job as a curator for the Smithsonian Institute. Alex goes into Corinne's bedroom. He reads her journal and finds out Corinne never got over Louie's death. All these years she never remarried or looked at any other man. Alex even sees a York Peppermint Patty (Louie's favorite candy) next to a picture of Louie on Corinne's nightstand. Alex makes a visit to Philip's home. Alex learns that Philip and Corinne never slept together. As Miranda's godfather, Philip has been taking care of Miranda and Corinne since Louie's death. Alex tries to tell Philip that he is Louie reincarnated but was subverted by a phone call.

After his visit with Philip, Alex goes to the Smithsonian Institute to visit Corinne. While waiting outside her office Alex overhears that the museum needs 2 million dollars in two days. Corinne's boss tells Corinne to squeeze it out of a rich patron Mavis Talmadge during a benefit party being held that night. Once Corinne's boss leaves, Alex initiates a conversation with Corinne. Alex tells her that he is Louie reincarnated. Corinne does not believe and angrily tells Alex to leave. Alex leaves.

Chances Are Alex Finch (Robert Downey Jr) eating the York Peppermint Patty.png
Alex finds out Corinne never moved on after Louie's death
Later that night, at the museum's benefit party Corinne is trying to convince Mavis Talmadge how much the museum honors all the great women in history. Mavis is bored and feigns interest in Corinne's words. From across the room, Alex is dressed up is a good-looking suit and begins to flirt with Mavis. Mavis is thrilled that a young man like Alex fancies dancing with a older woman like her. The two dance throughout the night. During the dancing, Alex tells Mavis how much the museum needs money especially in the amount of 2 million dollars. Eventually Mavis passes out from all the fun dancing. The paramedics need to take Mavis Talmadge away.

At the end of the party, Corinne is back home. When Corinne is in her bedroom settling down from the party, Alex tries once again to convince her that he is Louie. He tells her things that only Louie would know. Corinne dismisses this as some sort of odd psychic ability. Alex gives up. Before leaving the bedroom, Alex leaves a 2 million dollar check he got from Mavis from the party. Once Alex is out of the room, Corinne slowly believes that Alex is really Louie reincarnated. Corinne goes down the stairs and sits next to Alex, who is playing the piano just like Louie use to do. Corinne tells Alex she believes he is Louie.

Chances Are Alex Finch (Robert Downey Jr) and Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd) after she knows that Alex is Louie.png
Louie and Corinne reunited through Alex
The next day, Corinne and Alex spend time together. They enjoy a car ride and walk enjoying each other's company. In the meantime, Miranda convinces Philip to finally start courting Miranda after all these years. When Corinne and Alex get back home they see Philip is in the kitchen preparing dinner. During the dinner, Philip tries to court Corinne while Alex witnesses begrudgingly. When Philip leaves to go back home, Corinne and Alex start getting undressed. Unfortunately, Philip had to go back inside and sees Corinne and Alex. Philip starts attacking Alex. Corinne tries to calm Philip by saying Alex is Louie reincarnated. Philip doesn't believe it at all. Philip continues to attack Alex. During the fight, Philip openly admits he has been in love with Corinne since her wedding to Louie. Corinne's love for Philip is ignited by this confession. Philip still thinks Alex is lying about being Louie and tries to punch Alex. As a reflex, Alex punches back and knocks out Philip. Corinne is angry that Alex would do that to Philip and sends Alex to his room. Corinne is torn between Philip (the man who helped her survive for the past 23 years) and Alex (her reincarnated husband). Corinne eventually chooses Alex and slips a note under the door to his room that she will come in at midnight. Alex evaluates the situation. He realizes that he doesn't really belong in Corinne's life as her husband anymore. Since both Philip and Corinne knows each one loves another, Alex carries the unconscious Philip upstairs into the guest room. Alex leaves the house for good taking all his belongings with him. When Corinne goes into the guest room she is surprised that Philip is in the bed instead of Alex. Corinne starts to leave but Philip stops her. Philip says he won't let her go now. Corinne asks why it took him so long. Philip says because Louie would always be between them. Corinne says Louie isn't there anymore. The two spend the night together.

The next day, Miranda comes home. She is overjoyed to see that Corinne has finally gotten over Louie and is now with Philip. Later that day, Alex visits the courtroom where Miranda is working as a lawyer. While the courtroom is getting settled the judge walks in. Alex remembers the judge as the one who suppressed evidence in Louie's case from 23 years ago. Alex makes a scene in the courtroom while Corinne and Philip walk in. Philip now believes Alex is Louie because Alex is yelling things about Louie's old case from the day he died. Alex tells Philip to get the photograph showing the judge accepting a bribe. As Alex tries to run away from the court, he falls down a flight of stairs and needs to be sent to the hospital. While at the hospital, the corrupt judge is sent to jail.

At the hospital, Alex is sleeping. Corinne walks in and thanks Alex for letting Louie back into her life, but she has moved on. Omar the angel walks in dressed as hospital staff gives the inoculation that removes Louie's memories from Alex's mind. Alex wakes up as Miranda and Philip walk in. Alex says he doesn't remember anything after coming home and helping prepare dinner.

At the end of the film, Philip marries Corinne. During the ceremony, Alex admits to Philip that he loves Miranda echoing back to the beginning of the film.

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