Just Like Heaven - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker Commentary. Making of Just Like Heaven. Meet the Cast. Gag Reel. Deleted Scenes. Regions 2/4.
THE spirit of Ghost dwells throughout this amiable romantic comedy about the unlikely relationship between a handsome but depressed tenant and an apparently deceased nurse.
Mark (Mean Girls) Waters’ rom-com may reside in familiar territory but it’s far from comatose. There’s a generous sprinkling of laughter to offset the inevitable schmaltz and the attractive leads share some divine chemistry.
Reese Witherspoon plays Elizabeth, a promising medical trainee whose career is flat-lined following a head-on collision with a dump truck on a rainy night.
Her swish San Francisco apartment is subsequently rented by Mark Ruffalo’s brooding loner, David, who quickly proceeds to turn it into a mess.
Mortified, Elizabeth begins to appear to David and determines to get him out of her home, refusing to believe that she is, in fact, dead and that life must go on.
But what begins as an antagonistic relationship quickly develops into something else as David falls for Elizabeth, despite being the only person able to see her, and she recruits him to find out what happened to her.
The ensuing fantasy thrives on the excellent interplay between the two leads and results in some wonderfully amusing moments that help compensate for the numerous lapses in logic.
This is, at the end of the day, a film that requires a major suspension of disbelief but which provides a breezy respite from some of the more weightier films of the moment.
Witherspoon is as effervescent as ever as the engaging Elizabeth, proving herself to be the new queen of the rom-com, while the support cast, including Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder, ensure that proceedings aren’t allowed to become too sentimenal too soon.
Yet it is Ruffalo who remains the film’s biggest asset, proving himself equally adept at dealing with the slapstick as he is at the weightier emotional stuff.
When the film does eventually switch gears into more serious territory, it is made all the more believable for Ruffalo’s expertise as an actor.
Just Like Heaven is, therefore, an endearing experience that will come as a seasonal blessing for the hopeless romantics among you.
Running time: 95mins