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Reese Witherspoon
Mark Ruffalo
Donal Logue
Jon Heder.
Mark Waters.
Peter Tolan
Leslie Dixon.
Running Time
95 minutes

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Just Like Heaven
Don't set expectations for logic too high and you'll be able to have fun with the two likeable leads

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David (Ruffalo) gets more than he bargained for when he rents a swish San Francisco apartment — it comes complete with a ghost only he can see, former tenant Elizabeth (Witherspoon). She’s not about to leave, either, as Elizabeth’s convinced she’s not actually dead yet, so she enlists a reluctant David’s help to find out what happened to her.

Just Like Heaven
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Leave all logical reasoning at the cinema door and any cynicism at home and you’ll no doubt enjoy this 21st-century comedy twist on Ghost. Headlined by America’s sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon — who gets to display all the over-achieving, snippy mannerisms she’s perfected in movies like Sweet
Home Alabama and Election — it’s basically the story of a workaholic who finally gets a life when, erm, she’s not actually living anymore.

Yes, it seems in today’s busy work-first, social-life-later society, the only way Elizabeth can find true love is by having a head-on collision with a truck, then haunting the depressed tenant (Ruffalo) now living in her apartment until he falls for her. Which is all very predictable — and stuffed, of course, with just about every rom-com convention: the sceptical but supportive best friend (Donal Logue) with all the best lines; the quirky spiritualist (Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder) as the only one who believes David; the misunderstandings involving a voluptuous neighbour; and various other confusions that would be cleared up in two minutes if the protagonists just sat down and had a proper conversation with each other. But there are some surprises here — just as love is finally on the way, director Mark Waters goes somewhere surprisingly darker, creating a final hurdle that our lovebirds must overcome on the road to happiness.

While it doesn’t entirely work — there are annoying little inconsistencies such as Elizabeth being ghostly enough to walk through walls and furniture, yet seemingly full enough of body to sit in a car — Waters moves things along at such a sprightly pace you almost don’t have time to notice (and, thankfully, he doesn’t pack the film with sappy bits, either), while the San Francisco locations, glistening in the sunlight, add to the fairy-tale feel.

Most enjoyable of all, though, is the fun chemistry between the likeable Witherspoon and brooding ‘serious’ actor Mark Ruffalo (who looks a lot more comfortable here than he did in his last
romantic comedy, 13 Going On 30). It’s their on-screen rapport and sweet romance that make this cute affair worth watching.

A sweet but predictable chick flick, this coasts by on the considerable charm of its two leads.

Reviewed by Jo Berry

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Just Like Heaven
Empire Star Rating

A quality cast and The odd spark of charm and the occasional flash of chemistry ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:48, 10 March 2007 | Report This Post

Don't bother

This movie is the corniest rom com I have ever seen with a completely ridiculous story line and sooo predictable. Very annoying. The only thing that makes it watchable is Reese. Do not bother with this movie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by eowyn2k at 16:41, 05 October 2006 | Report This Post


A intresting take on an old formula. Ruffalo and witherspoon really spark together but both actors have proved in other roles that they have bigger and better to thing to offer us. The film coasts along and brings few suprises but is pleasent and harmless and better than some of the rom coms been released recently (rumour has it need i say more). The support cast are a rare treat in this film especially John Heder who is just awesome although he does very little. The overall verdict is if you ne... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ben454 at 14:42, 15 June 2006 | Report This Post

(spoiler alert)

Would have been much better if Elizabeth had been allowed to die rather than the naff Sleeping Beauty thing. Then it would have opened up the possibility of some Randall & Hopkirk -style sequels. Oh well. When they remake it in 20 yrs time... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by griet at 12:35, 31 May 2006 | Report This Post

Once again...

This is the same formuliac stuff we see in most rom-coms, but Ruffalo and Witherspoon have enough chemistry and charm to make it worth a watch. A good date movie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jon2005 at 18:10, 23 January 2006 | Report This Post

Funny and at times quite touching. P.S. Heder does not steal the show at all !!! He is just some stoner psychic-books shop assistant... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 23:47, 22 January 2006 | Report This Post

Funny and at times quite touching. P.S. Heder does not steal the show at all !!! He is just some stoner psychic-books shop assistant... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 23:47, 22 January 2006 | Report This Post

Nothing but okay

Just Like Heaven stars Reese Whiterspoon, a pretty charming young actress that hasn't truly found her fully form except her performances in Legally Blonde 1 and 2. Just Like Heaven is about Whiterspoon being a ghost, or more spesific a spirit, that's wandering around and irritating her butt off because this new guy has stolen her apartment from her - but again, how could he know that her spirit would haunt the place? Mark Ruffalo stars as the confused guy that's suddenly all alone seeing this... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Eastern Cowboy at 12:15, 19 January 2006 | Report This Post

O.K. (Slight Spoiler in this review )

This is well meaning, mostly harmless rom com. The leads are likable enough, although Witherspoon seems to play the slightly Neurotic girl in most of her movies, she does it well. The film follows all the normal rom com conventions (unbelieving friend etc etc) but does dare to try something different by delaying the happy ending with a slight twist. All in all Its an entertaining little film, ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by avfc999 at 08:39, 12 January 2006 | Report This Post

A failed attempt to be original in an extremely formulated genre. Witherspoon and Ruffalo are both good, but upstaged by Heder who steals the show. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by smila darcy at 21:18, 04 January 2006 | Report This Post

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