that was bedeviled by most mainstream critics. While
the comedic elements do not always work, this romantic
ghost story flies in the face of recent contemporary
entertainment, most notably the 2004 Academy Award
Winner, “Million Dollar Baby.” While it is not stated
in the promotional trailers, “Just Like Heaven” deals
with the subject of euthanasia and the painful choice
to pull one’s plug or not.
Medical doctor Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon)
is a workaholic. After working a 26-hour shift,
Elizabeth learns that she has been promoted to
attendant surgeon and she drives home to celebrate
with her family and a blind date. She gets run over
by a truck. Three months later David (Mark Ruffalo)
sublets Elizabeth’s old apartment. He is in grief and
is visited by Elizabeth’s apparition.
Both David and Elizabeth's spirit are in a state of
bewilderment and seek advice from the Roman Catholic
Church, I Ching specialists and the local chapter of
the San Francisco Ghostbusters. When these
visitations prove fruitless, Elizabeth's ghost and
David seek the wisdom of Darryl (Jon Heder), a clerk
in a bookstore. If one has ever read “Sleeping
Beauty” or “Snow White,” one can figure out the rest
of the plot.
The San Francisco scenery adds to a heavenly quality
and there is sweetness to this film that is not
diabetic. Reese Witherspoon and Jon Heder make this
film work on a quirky level. While no Jim Carrey or
Steve Martin, Ruffalo pulls off a hilarious moment of
slapstick in a bar full of San Francisco regulars.
“Just Like Heaven” is not likely to have the same box
office receipts of “Legally Blond” or “Freaky Friday.”
Yet this new film is likely find enjoyment on some
cozy Sunday afternoon after football season. “Just
Like Heaven” is thought provoking in a positive way.