- For the condition of being toothless, see Edentulism. For the fictional dragon named Toothless, see How to Train Your Dragon
|Directed by||Melanie Mayron|
|Produced by||Joan Van Horn|
|Written by||Mark S. Kaufman|
|Music by||David Michael Frank|
|Editing by||Henk van Eeghen|
|Release date||October 5, 1997|
|Running time||92 mins.|
The movie opens with Catherine Lewis, sharing her memory flashes of going to see her dentist, Dr. Green, who took over her beloved father's office after he died. Her father was a dentist as was her paternal grandfather and paternal great-grandfather, who performed dental work on Abraham Lincoln and she became strongly inspired to become one too. She would always have perfectly white teeth.
Years later, Katherine grows up to be an experienced dentist herself and runs the office that her late father and Dr. Green used to be in charge of. She is very happy with her career, but equally unhappy with her social life. She is afraid of romantically loving anyone in case she loses them as she lost her beloved father. Dr. Green is dead and her best friend, Mindy, is married and happy. She stays a bachelorette, and has turned down every man who had romantically seduced and pursued her.
One day, Katherine is walking to the bank to deposit a few checks during a rift in her schedule and she sees Mindy across the street. She is accidentally knocked onto the road by a bike messenger. She is unable to move out of the way in time and dies instantly from her injuries after getting hit by an oncoming car. She awakens and finds herself in an area called Limbo, a place referred to being between Heaven and Hell. The receptionist reveals to her that she has died and that she must find her case worker for further instruction. A strict supervisor named Rogers comes along and reveals that when someone dies, if he or she had not performed good deeds on Earth, then they must perform community service as a mythological being with many, incredible magical abilities in order to go to Heaven by heading up the mystical Stairway to Heaven. If they fail, they go to Hell through the cursed Hellevator. After looking through the book of former dentists' choices of community service options, she decides on "Bicuspid retrieval," which she does not realize is the Tooth Fairy until she signs her contract. She is then trained by a worker named Raul on how to perform her service. When asked about the previous one, Rogers stated that she was "fired."
Rogers shows Catherine to her office, which contains a non-working telephone, a small television that shows her children who lose their baby teeth, and a vintage typewriter that automatically dictates the names and locations of said children.
On her first night on the job, Catherine visits a twelve-year-old boy named Bobby Jameson. As it turns out, children who have at least one baby tooth can see her while those who have lost all of theirs cannot, as the loss of baby teeth represents the loss of innocence required to see magical beings and creatures. He seems to be very angry and is rude to her; she magically changes his tooth into a silver quarter with her mystical wand and leaves while he is somewhat convinced that he is dreaming. The next day when he is at school, a bully named Jeff punches him and knocks another one of his teeth out. Katherine comes to visit him again that night and discovers that his mother, Annie, had died of cancer and his father is always busy at work. She decides to help him and the other children at his school with their problems, which lands her in trouble with the higher-ups in Limbo, as revealing herself to living humans is a grievous infraction; when she is found out, she stands before the Council of Judges (all of whom are named Joe) who tell her that her access to Heaven has been denied due to an overflowing tooth bank, 47% retrieval and an all-time high approval rating, but she is let off with a warning. She feels that the children's needs are greater than hers and asks for Raul's help in making her visible to the parents and the school principal so that she can prove that she is indeed real and that Bobby is not insane.
Katherine succeeds in becoming visible to the adults by "letting her guard down" and showing Bobby she cares for him. She proceeds to tell off the parents and principal, but is found out yet again by Rogers, who comes with Raul to drag her back to Limbo. Once there, Rogers has her sent to the Hellavator. She begins her descent down it in a boiling rain, but suddenly finds herself back on Earth, having returned to life. She learns from Raul that not only was she dreaming, but has been given a second chance at life as well. She figures that her late father had used his connections in Limbo to give her a second chance as she had learned her lesson. She then notices Rogers as a traffic cop who mouths to her that she is watching her.
Catherine returns to her job as a dentist with a newfound love of life. She finds Bobby, a new patient, waiting for his appointment with her. She explains what happened and goes on to live her life to its fullest. After she removes his last baby tooth, though, all of his memories of her as the tooth fairy are lost and she is saddened that he no longer remembers her. His father, Thomas, recognizes her from when she turned visible and she asks them to go to a baseball game with her and they accept, which obviously indicates a romance blooming between Thomas and Catherine which would result in her being Bobby's stepmother.
In Limbo, people who did not use their time on Earth wisely perform community service in order to gain access into Heaven when their judgement day comes. Besides the Tooth Fairy, other community service roles include Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Cupid, Cinderella, Boogeyman, and Sleeping Beauty.
- Kirstie Alley – Dr. Katherine Lewis
- Dale Midkiff – Thomas Jameson
- Ross Malinger – Bobby Jameson
- Daryl Mitchell – Raul
- Kathryn Zaremba – Carrie
- Marcus Toji – Trevor
- Melanie Mayron – Mindy
- Lynn Redgrave – Rogers
- Kimberly Scott – Gwen
- John P. Connolly – Dr. Green
- Catlin Adams – Carrie's Mom
- Patrick Kerr – Mr. Wood
- Jake Richardson – Jeff
- Zack Duhame – Kent
- Arjay Smith – Phil
- Eileen Brennan - Joe #1
- Joel Swetow – Joe #2
- Kaley Cuoco – Lori
- Augie Amarino – Man in Hellavator
- Stephen Spacek – Bike Messenger
- Thomas Crawford – Cupid
- Candy Trabuco – Photographer
- Gregory Hinton – Tiny
- Lindze Letherman – Molly
- Helen Slater – Katherine's Mom
- Lewis Smith – Young Hot Guy
- Yeardley Smith – Gatekeeper
- Joel Brooks – Principal Norris
- Keaton Savage – Little Boy (uncredited)