Last night my wife and I needed some happy cuddle time, which means a romantic comedy. My wife decided to be "the decider", and she decided on "Just Like Heaven". I'll get the puns out the way, "Just Like Heaven" is not just like hell and we did not wish we were in heaven instead of watching it.
"Just Like Heaven" stars Reese Witherspoon, type-cast as the sassy cute girl, and Mark Ruffalo, type-cast as the "ordinary" guy. This movie has a notable gimmick, Reese appears to be a ghost. If she can't touch him, how will they ever get together? Not yet a third of the way into the film my wife turns to me and asks, "Do you think she is really in a coma?". I replied, "Yes, and you also think she is in a coma." She replied back "Why do you think that?" I answered "Because you wouldn't have asked me if she was in a coma unless you thought she was in a coma." We both laughed. Sorry to be a spoiler, but my wife and I were right, Reese was in a coma. That was really the only reasonable explanation anyway. Otherwise, the movie would have been stupid.
Other than the whole ghost/spirit thing, "Just Like Heaven" has two other novel features. First, the movie milks the fame of the guy from "Napoleon Dynamite". Second, instead of tying the melody of a pop song to a scene, the movie ties the lyrics of a pop song to something happening in a scene. Imagine the possibilities: when a storm trooper appears in "Star Wars", we could hear Abba's "Super Trooper"; every scene in "Wall Street" could include a clip of "Taking Care of Business", or the silent scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" can be filled with REM's "Everybody Hurts". Thank you for that, "Just Like Heaven".
I rate this movie somewhere between underwhelming and whelming, maybe subwhelming. Or maybe the movie should have just ended before a torturous montage of sad scenes as we wonder if they couple will ever get together. Oh yeah, and then there is that whole debate about euthanasia and the right to die. Could I really pull the plug on a loved one knowing that their spirit might be starting a new romance with Mark Ruffalo? Man, that is way to deep for happy cuddle time.
Tagged: untimely reviews