So-called “chick flicks” of recent years have been, well, a little lacking. Sorry, but movies like Monster-In-Law and A Lot Like Love usually make me cringe. Tarantino is a little more my speed.
For this reason, Just Like Heaven really caught me by surprise. After Legally Blonde and
, Reese Witherspoon has become the new reigning queen of “chick flicks.” After reading some rather scathing reviews and seeing the trailers, I can’t say that this film made a very good first impression.
The plot seemed like typical
syrupy love gook; successful, beautiful, and extremely lonely Elizabeth (Witherspoon) is at the height of her career. Suddenly, an accident puts a stop to all that and shoots her into the netherworlds. Enter dreamy David (Ruffalo) a self-pitying (and independently wealthy?) young man who sublets her vacant apartment. Her spirit haunts him and like Hepburn and Grant in “Bringing up Baby” they annoy each other until it turns into love. Awww.
However, as the film started, my senses went on full alert…was that background music from one of my most favorite bands, “The Cure?” And isn’t that the guy from “Napoleon Dynamite?” Wait a minute, this film is set in
! Already, this seemingly fluffy film was getting bonus points for style.
Slowly but surely, I eased into this movie and gave it a chance. I found that not only was this movie funny, but at the risk of sounding stereotypical, at the end, it made you feel pretty good. Okay, so the plot does seem a little obvious; think Ghost in reverse, with a twist and more humor. Sometimes the situations are totally unrealistic, but you have to tell yourself “it’s just a movie.”
With that in mind, you also have to ignore the blaring resemblance to this movie and the somewhat recent Terri Schiavo scandal. Sorry if I ruined it for you, but Witherspoon’s character is not dead in the movie, she’s in a coma. And surprise! They want to pull the plug on her while she still may have a chance to live. Ironic? Yes. Badly timed? Also yes. Tacky? Some critics think so, but I’ll leave that to your interpretation.
The empty or overused elements in this film are overshadowed by the sheer comedy of it. If “Just Like Heaven” did one thing for me, it was to teach me that the movies can be fun again, and “Once upon a time” still exists, at least on film. Does this movie try to preach a social message? Maybe. Is it going to win an Oscar for anything? Certainly not. But the point is, it’s not trying to.
For me, Just Like Heaven was a guilty pleasure. It didn’t make me a better person for seeing it, and it didn’t teach me any important life lessons. But it did entertain me for an hour and a half. And at the end of the day, that’s what movies are really about anyway.
To all cinema lovers, I would recommend the site 123movies for more classic movies that you would enjoy watching during your leisure time.