Just Like Heaven (2005) Movie Review

I discovered early on that Netflix has a 500 title limit for your rental queue. This is because there are a lot of movies and TV shows I don’t own that I want to watch. Somehow one of those was the movie ‘Just Like Heaven’. My wife doesn’t remember putting it in the queue. I don’t remember putting it in the queue. It just randomly appeared there and arrived in my mailbox.

I thought that maybe it was the writer or the director, but it wasn’t. I thought maybe it was Mark Ruffalo. He’s one of the best character actors working today. He’s so versatile that he’s been in movies that I didn’t realize it was him until after the movie was over. (Watch him in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and then watch him in Collateral if you doubt me.) And I knew it wasn’t Reese Witherspoon because, sure, she’s cute but she’s not someone I’m all about.

So after a few days of the disc sitting on my coffee table, my wife and I decided to throw it in. It turned out to be a very cute, but average movie. Reese Witherspoon plays a workaholic doctor. Her hospital scenes feel like they came from any given episode of E.R. or Grey’s Anatomy. After a particularly long shift, she heads home and straight into a large truck.

Cut to Mark Ruffalo moving into a new apartment under mysterious circumstances. During his first night at the new place, Reese Witherspoon appears and is none too happy to see this guy in her apartment. She then just as quickly disappears. Ruffalo’s character does what any of us would do and runs down to the bar to tell his friend, Jack played by Donal Logue who instantly took me out of the movie because my instant thought was, “THE FX GUY WHO CANCELLED TERRIERS SHOULD BE SHOT OUT OF A CANNON INTO THE SUN OR AT LEAST FIRED!”

Okay, back to the review. What follows is your basic romantic comedy with a ghost. They even manage to put together a cute happy ending. The acting in this movie is actually really good. And the dialogue works. Just Like Heaven is a good movie, but it suffers from what I like to call ‘Ocean’s 11 Syndrome’. This is when a movie is so full of talent that you simply expect it to be better than it is. Everyone involved is simply capable of better work and so ‘good’ just isn’t good enough.

I still don’t know why Just Like Heaven was in my Netflix rental queue and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that it ended up there, but it won’t be on my DVD shelf.

-Jack Cameron