22 May 2012

Just Like Heaven (starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo)

I really don't know how 'Just Like Heaven' arrived on my Amazon wishlist. Perhaps it was recommended to me as a 'romantic comedy', since I tend to like that genre of movie. It can't have been due to the actors involved, since I didn't know of any of them. I was given it for my birthday, and we watched it last night.

The film opens with several scenes from a busy hospital, showing Elizabeth (brilliantly played by Reese Witherspoon) as a young, keen doctor who is extremely good with patients, but lives as a workaholic, devoting far too many hours to her career with no social life at all.

Her sister Abby (Dina Waters) wants to set her up with a date, but Elizabeth doesn't think she has time. However, she finally finishes her 26+ hour shift, and sets off in the rain, talking on her mobile phone... and, unsurprisingly, a terrible crash happens.

I hadn't read any summaries of the plot, which meant that I was a little confused when the action switched to that of a young landscape gardener called David (Mark Ruffalo) looking for an apartment to rent. He finally chooses one he likes - after fate takes something of a hand - but after settling down finds himself apparently haunted by the previous owner - Elizabeth - who is convinced that she has not in fact died - although she can't remember much at all about her life.

They begin with hostility, each claiming ownership of the flat, which gradually turns to wary friendship. David agrees eventually to try and find out who Elizabeth is and what happened to her... and while the ending is somewhat predictable, the route to get there is sometimes unexpected, sometimes amusing, sometimes quite thought-provoking.

The chemistry between the two main cast works extremely well, and there are some excellent supporting actors too. The whole is only an hour and a half long, but I felt quite drawn into the story, wondering what the outcome would be, almost believing in the somewhat unlikely plot premise.

The UK rating is PG, which seemed about right - there's nothing explicit, and almost no bad language, although there are some implied sexual references. The US rating is a somewhat stricter PG-13.

Overall. we both enjoyed it very much. The DVD comes with extras including a 'making of', 'meet the cast', and some deleted scenes.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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