Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just Like Heaven

2005, US, directed by Mark Waters

Like any romantic comedy, Just Like Heaven lives or dies on the appeal of its lead actors, and fortunately Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo have charm to spare. Witherspoon plays Dr Elizabeth Lawrence, a dedicated pro with no time for a private life who is involved in a terrible accident. Months later, dreamy but depressed Mark Ruffalo moves in to her apartment, only to find that the place is haunted by the spirit of the previous resident. As he showed in 13 Going On 30, Ruffalo is extremely adept at the kind of comic tomfoolery required in a situation like this. He's especially amusing when the spirit of the good doctor enters his body to try and reassert some control. Of course, notwithstanding the boundaries between the real and spirit worlds, sparks fly in all senses, although the film steers clear of anything morbid. While Witherspoon and Ruffalo alone are great value, there are also some enjoyable supporting turns, especially from Jon Napoleon Dynamite Heder, who's very amusing as an occult bookstore employee.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States