Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven

4.3 32
Director: Mark S. Waters

Cast: Mark S. Waters, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue

     
 

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A couple who live on different sides of the divide of life and death discover just how many boundaries love can cross in this romantic comic fantasy. Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) is a hardworking and dedicated medical resident who, after 20 hours on duty, is heading home when she falls asleep at the wheel of her car and is involved in a fatal auto accident. Several… See more details below

Overview

A couple who live on different sides of the divide of life and death discover just how many boundaries love can cross in this romantic comic fantasy. Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) is a hardworking and dedicated medical resident who, after 20 hours on duty, is heading home when she falls asleep at the wheel of her car and is involved in a fatal auto accident. Several weeks later, a man named David (Mark Ruffalo) takes over the lease on Elizabeth's apartment, but he discovers that she hasn't quite vacated the building. Elizabeth's body may be dead, but her spirit is still quite lively, and her ghost is insisting that the apartment is still hers...and that she wants him to move out. David brings in Darryl (Jon Heder), an eccentric man who claims to have psychic powers, to help sweep Elizabeth's spirit out of the apartment, but she refuses to budge, certain that she can't be completely dead, despite all evidence to the contrary. As Elizabeth and David try to share the flat, they discover that their differences aren't as great as they once imagined, and they become attracted to one another. But will Elizabeth's spirit stay in the land of the living long enough for their romance to go somewhere? Just Like Heaven marked Jon Heder's first feature film role after his breakthrough appearance in the independent hit Napoleon Dynamite.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This minor comedy-drama with romantic overtones is not only saved but also significantly enhanced by a nimble performance from the always-adorable Reese Witherspoon, once again taking an underwritten character and skillfully fleshing it out. She portrays work-obsessed intern Elizabeth Masterson, who apparently dies in a tragic car accident. Her spacious apartment is subsequently rented to David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo), a lonely architect trying to rebuild his life following the death of his wife. Elizabeth -- or, rather, her ghost -- returns to the apartment and begins haunting David, the only person who can see and hear her. Though Just Like Heaven twists itself into narrative knots with an especially silly third-act contrivance, plot ultimately recedes in favor of performance, and the underlying sweetness of both main characters more than amply compensates for any script failings. Contributing minor but important supporting turns are Donal Logue, playing David’s skeptical best friend, and Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder, who comes close to stealing the show as a faintly psychic bookstore clerk. Heaven doesn’t have any of the edge or hipness of director Mark Waters’s preceding film, Mean Girls, but its genuine warmth and gentle humor should not be dismissed or undervalued. This is a nice, family-friendly movie with a positive, uplifting message -- and we could definitely use more of those.
All Movie Guide
Just Like Heaven is the rare film that starts out broad, obvious and overly familiar, then develops subtlety as it moves along, ultimately winding up as a sweet -- if not distinctly memorable -- romantic comedy. A movie about a spirit haunting her former apartment can't exactly be "realistic," but Reese Witherspoon's sitcom-like reaction to her new circumstances is what gives the first act its eyeball-rolling broadness. Director Mark S. Waters stages this portion as an extended "meet cute" between Elizabeth (Witherspoon) and David (Mark Ruffalo), the apartment's new tenant, so of course the two bicker and display the mutual comedic disdain that always presages movie romances -- even though he might be crazy, and she might be dead. It's when Waters steps out of this lazy opening that the film starts to take on more dimension, as the audience learns what happened to Elizabeth, and what's at stake going forward. Even the soundtrack gets focused down from a selection of randomly used, disjointed songs to something more comfortable and organic. (And yes, it does feature the Cure song that inspired the title, albeit a cover by Katie Melua). Just Like Heaven loads up on the classic elements of romantic comedy, and sometimes overloads, such as putting two people in the role of David's buddy, thereby leaving both Donal Logue and Jon Heder (in his first role after Napoleon Dynamite) without enough to do. As for the leads, they acquit themselves well enough, but one senses they'd have been better if this material weren't essentially beneath them. (Ruffalo has always been a critical darling, and at the time of this film's release, Witherspoon's Oscar-winning turn in Walk the Line was just two months from hitting theaters). Still, Just Like Heaven manages to overcome most of the potential cynicism by the predictable finale.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929311439
Original Release:
2005
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Sales rank:
12,997

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Reese Witherspoon Elizabeth
Mark Ruffalo David
Donal Logue Jack
Dina Waters Abby
Ben Shenkman Brett
Jon Heder Darryl
Ivana Milicevic Katrina
Caroline Aaron Grace
Rosalind Chao Fran
Ron Canada Dr. Walsh
Willie Garson Maitre D'
Gabrielle Madé Nurse Maria
William Caploe Nurse Bill
Shulie Cowen Nurse Jenny
Billy Beck Mr. Clarke
Diego Sebastian Bandage Guy
Cristian Cruz Orderly Luis
Benjamin Hughes Peroxide Rocker
Cara Vivien Rosenberg Balloon Girl
Catherine Taber Intern Karen
Chris Pflueger Abby's Husband
Kerris Dorsey Zoe
Alyssa Shafer Lily
Paul Cassell Brett's Friend
Drew Letchworth UFO Guy
Raymond O'Connor Catholic Priest
Lucille Soong Chinese Exorcist
Joel McKinnon Miller Lead Ghostbuster
Victor Yerrid Ghostbuster
Robert N. Benjamin Ghostbuster
Ron Hacker Blues Guy
Kara Hamilton Valerie
Nicole Wilder Kim
Lorna Scott Hippie Neighbor
Jeffrey Marcus Uptight Neighbor
Ken Takemoto Chinese Neighbor
Chaim Jeraffi Dry Cleaner
Doug Krizner Donald
Zoe Waters Park Girl
Jacob Chambers Kenny
Karen Harrison Kenny's Friend
Ingrid Coree Waitress
Lee Burns Ivan
Amita Balla Receptionist
Tim Connolly Security Guard
Tony Brubaker Security Guard
Tim Sitarz Security Guard
Jimmy Ortega Security Guard
Ken Clark Security Guard
Rolfe Kent Conductor

Technical Credits
Mark S. Waters Director
Steve Adcock Camera Operator
Kevin Bailey Stunts
Maria Baker Art Director
Veronica Brooks Associate Producer
Braeden Burns Stunts
Gretchen Davis Makeup
Mark de Alessandro Stunts
Sophie De Rakoff Costumes/Costume Designer
Leslie Dixon Screenwriter
Michael E. Edmonson Special Effects
Annie Ellis Stunts
Joe Green Stunts
Bruce Green Editor
Lori Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Nancy Hayes Casting
David B. Householter Executive Producer
Randy Johnson Stunts
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
Larry "Warlock" Lam Stunts
Kevin Larson Stunts
Oakley Lehman Stunts
Tawny Ellis Lehman Stunts
Marc Levy Co-producer
Marci Liroff Casting
Sue Lomino Set Decoration/Design
Laurie MacDonald Producer
Mark Mangini Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Martinez Stunts
Tim Meredith Stunts
Anthony Molinari Stunts
Daryn Okada Cinematographer
Walter Parkes Producer
Heidi Pascoe Stunts
Thomas Rasada Special Effects
Cat Smith Set Decoration/Design
Gregory W. Smith Camera Operator
Molly R. Stern Makeup
Peter Tolan Screenwriter
Tony Velasco Costumes/Costume Designer
Technicolor Weddington Sound Editor
Cary White Production Designer

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