By Owen Gleiberman
Updated April 24, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s doubtful Nicolas Cage has ever showcased his delicate soul with quite the moist relentlessness he displays here. As Seth, an angel who wanders the earth, Cage is all soft, gooey compassion — a black-velvet puppy-dog painting come to life. City of Angels is a woozy piece of ”spiritual” hokum in which Seth falls for Maggie (Meg Ryan), a Los Angeles heart surgeon who’s begun to experience a fuzzified ache of her own, and then falls to earth to be with her. This is the sort of movie in which everyone on screen is swathed in gauzy benevolence. You practically have time to say a prayer in the dead spaces between lines. C