Sunday, September 18, 2005

JUST LIKE HEAVEN, rated PG-13 for a sexually suggestive scene involving a potting wheel and a lump of wet clay...no wait, that was Ghost. Nevermind.

In Just Like Heaven, Reese Witherspoon plays a dedicated and charmingly blonde physician who is married to her job. Sure, she’s cute as a button, has perfected the sexy-yet-cute pout, has expensive highlights in her hair and sports a sleek pilates bod, but seriously? For real? She works all the time and is super-brilliant and has no social life whatsoever. She does however have a lovely apartment—you know the type—it’s expensive, gorgeous, decorated just right and very very clean. It looks like 99.99% of the homes you see on TV and movies, and like 0.01% of the homes you see in real life.

And then she dies! And then this guy, Mark Ruffalo, moves into her lovely apartment in ignorance that he will be rooming with Reese’s charmingly blonde ghostly presence. First there are the misunderstandings as Mark and Reese mistake one another for real people. But oops, Reese is a ghost! And Mark is a cardboard cutout 30-something sexy-in-a-safe-geeky-way guy. Then Mark thinks he must be insane. But then Reese helps him save a life because seriously for real? She’s a super-brilliant doctor? And the life she saves turns out to be an angel, only he chose to fall and become human so he can eat ice cream and...no wait, that was City of Angels. Nevermind.

After this turning point, Reese and Mark find themselves falling into a quirky yet meaningful relationship. Isn’t it ironic, that this 30-something sexy-in-a-safe-geeky-way guy is finally having the best relationship of his life...but it’s with a dead girl? Gosh, he’s learning so much from her...and laughing so much with her...and falling in love with her...but oh no! This can’t end well.

And it doesn’t. After the couple finally figures out how to kiss, they also figure out how Reese can finally walk into the light and go to heaven, a charmingly blonde place that’s all glowy and pleasant, where anyone who’s really really nice and does good deeds can get in. Don’t worry about all those silly religious rules or that (shhh) Jesus guy. Let’s just talk about “God” a little bit and keep things fuzzy, so that the Christians in the audience can feel irritated and people of other religions can feel superior and atheists can roll their eyes and agnostics can continue trying to decide between the popcorn and the junior mints...in other words, not really reach anyone in the audience but also not seriously alienate anyone either...ah, such a lofty goal! Yeah, Reese gets to go there, and Mark’s kinda sad but kinda uplifted, because he knows that since he’s a nice guy, he’ll get to go there someday too.

My favorite thing about this movie is that it’s only 95 minutes long. Thank Jesus! Either movies are getting longer or my attention span is getting shorter, but lately it seems like romantic comedies are running two hours and dramas are running 2 hours 20 minutes for Coach Carter-esques and up to 3 hours for anything with a horse or long dresses. Ridiculous! But at 95 minutes Just Like Heaven is completely tolerable.

On a scale of “Hey it has that Sex and the City guy in it!” to "Hey it has that Napoleon Dynamite guy in it!” I give this movie a “Legally Blonde 3: Dead and Loving It!”

2 Comments:

Blogger Jim McCarthy said...

Do ghosts have to stay in the one place they haunt? If so, that's works well for the guy. Between that and the fact that she's a ghost, he's pretty much got a green light for screwing around...

3:20 PM  
Blogger travishill4759 said...

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9:52 PM  

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