Just Like Heaven
Director: Mark Waters
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Jon Heder
Best known for directing the acclaimed 'Mean Girls' and 'Freaky Friday', Mark Waters brings us this sweet natured chick-flick with a supernatural twist. It’s the story of a landscape gardener turned slob who moves into a classy San Francisco apartment as a means of overcoming long-term depression. What he isn’t expecting, however, is his newfound home to be the haunting ground of the beautiful but fiery ex-occupant. To make matters worse, she adamantly believes herself still alive and that he is invading her private property. This is the heart-warming set up, following the spirited relationship that develops between David Abbott and Dr Elizabeth Masterson, played by Mark Ruffalo and Hollywood's indisputable queen of romantic comedy, Reese Witherspoon.
Workaholic Elizabeth, later to be rechristened 'Lizzie' by the bemused David, adopts her haunting role after being involved in a serious car accident resulting from yet another 26 hour shift at work. Pretty soon David has had enough of her pestering over leaving coffee rings on her furniture and wants her out, leading to numerous entertaining battles over who stays and goes, including Asian Ghostbusters, a madcap exorcism and a weirdo from a supernatural bookshop. As these capers progress, the instinctive hatred Elizabeth and David initially feel for one another blossoms into a poignant romance, made even more so when the plot takes a traumatic and emotional turn.
Despite the somewhat sorrowful plot, this film certainly lives up to its classification as a romantic comedy, bursting with witty lines, such as David's admission that he's been 'sort of seeing someone.' However, it is Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) who brings particular comic refreshment to the storyline with his performance as wacky occult bookseller Darryl, who is enlisted in the quest to remove Elizabeth from the flat. As always, Witherspoon succeeds fantastically in endearing us to the charming character she plays, and crafts a quirky interplay with Ruffalo that certainly makes the characters' relationship feel sincere. If you're one for the soppy romance stories this is undoubtedly one for you: a sweet, metaphysical comedy with plenty of soul.
Screenings of this film:
|2005/2006 Summer Term – (35mm)|