Just Like Heaven

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Just Like Heaven ---- Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo Strike Up a Romance

Oct 10, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Witherspoon and Ruffalo, cute story, never dull, some very funny moments

Cons:a little predictable (but who cares!)

The Bottom Line: Just Like Heaven is a great romantic comedy, that succeeds well in its slow approach, and lovable characters.


If you have ever seen a romantic comedy, you know that there are some basic plot rules that apply to just about every one. Unlikely couple is created through some event, couple enjoys each other for half of film, dramatic event separates couple, and finally the couple must find a way to get past that event. Just Like Heaven is not a whole lot different than your basic romantic comedy, so you need actors that can bring endearing qualities, and make you forget that you can predict how the film will turn out. With Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, you have two actors that have a lot of great on-screen chemistry, and help you to get lost in the story that is unfolding in front of you. Reese has been a main-stay in the category, and you may remember Ruffalo getting his feet wet in '13 Going on 30'. Here, they are put into an unlikely circumstance, and both actors bring a lot of believability to their roles.

Ruffalo plays David Abbott, who is moving into a new apartment. He has been looking for a while, and stumbles across this one by chance (or fate), and decides that it is exactly what he is looking for. Unfortunately for him, after a while living there, he comes across someone else who believes that they are living there. In the role of Elizabeth Masterson, Reese Witherspoon plays a woman dedicated to her job, that has been in a terrible accident. Now she appears as a ghostly form to David, and neither can figure out what is really going on. David believes he is just seeing things, Elizabeth refuses to believe that she has died, and neither can explain what is going on here. Of course, with the tradition of a romantic comedy they cannot stand each other at first, and it takes a while (with a lot of funny moments) for them to actually get on to speaking terms with each other.

Elizabeth doesn't remember anything about herself, or her life up to this point, so she cannot shed any light on to what is going on. But, with the help of David she thinks that she can figure it all out. So, together they try to piece together the story of Elizabeth's life in a fashion that shows exactly what type of person that she was. It is interesting to watch someone learning about themselves, and the opinions that they form, without even knowing whether they had really lived their life the way that it is being explained by others. The movie works well, and keeps the interest of its viewers by tying in a lot of humor to the fact that David is the only one that can see Elizabeth, and that Elizabeth has a pretty domineering personality that has to be listened to. Together, they are going to have to figure out just why David is the only one who can see her, and exactly what has happened to leave her in this state.

I really felt that Just Like Heaven was a good movie, because it is simple enough to not blind you with a premise, but heart-felt enough in its approach, that you find yourself lost in the story instead of focusing on logistics. If you sit back and break this film down piece by piece, you will miss what is intended to be a cute story about two people, and what their interactions with each other entail. In a great supporting role, John Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) plays Darryl, a pseudo psychic from a local book store who assists David in figuring out what he is dealing with. He too is great in his role, and adds a lot to the film in the comedic department. Simple in its presentation, but endearing in its cute story, and likable characters, Just Like Heaven is a great romantic comedy that a lot of people will enjoy. I know I did, and I give it 3 1/2 stars (rounded up to 4), as Reese Witherspoon shows once again why she keeps getting romantic comedy lead roles.






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