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:: Just Like Heaven

David (Mark Ruffalo) is a grieving couch potato who has finally found his perfect couch. Before he can get too settled, he is accosted by an unexpected room mate in his new apartment. She is irritatingly fussy, good looking and blonde and as if that’s not enough, she’s ghostly as well. When she’s not haunting people out of her apartment, Elizabeth (Reece Witherspoon) is a workaholic doctor who has been in a comatose state for months. Meanwhile her ‘spirit’ and David develop a begrudged compromise which could be seen as friendship, until something unexpectedly more flourishes.

Even in a romantic comedy there are ‘bad guys’ and Just Like Heaven’s bad guy is doctor who doesn’t believe in patients relying on life support. Don’t despair however, in typical Hollywood style aka Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, even death can be fought by true love’s kiss.

There are characteristic elements of the chick flick genre, but it is not a ‘cutesy’ film. Like Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde movies, Just Like Heaven is stirring in an original, somewhat ditzy way. The film raises, through a conscious decision, provocation to the issue of artificial life maintenance, and it very clearly presents its view on it, that to ‘pull the plug' is unethical.

Moments are quite hilarious, others are moderately touching. It’s the supernatural elements that make it funny. It may be a simple recipe for humour, but watching a heated argument between two parties in a bar, one of them who is not psychically there, gets a few laughs out loud. (Particularly when there is bitch slapping involved.)

Witherspoon is her usual sensational self and even in death, she portrays an empowered, dignified character. Her soulful brown eyed co star plays the mopey, heartfelt slob who transpires to a happier person who has taken charge of his emotional issues. Maybe it's true that behind every messy man is a clean one wanting to get out, and so Witherspoon has the tidy touch. (Almost reminiscent of her admirable goodness in Cruel Intentions.)

The half heavenly couple dominate most of the screen time, with a few minor characters like a very entertaining spaced out physic who works at the book store ( John Heder) and a high strung sister, (Dina Spybey) spiritual children and a pushy psychiatrist (Donal Logue.)

Don’t go into it too critically. Yes it might resemble elements from movies like from Ghost, Ghost Busters and other films of the supernatural genre, but if you let it, Just Like Heaven can be an easy laugh, an easy watch and even touching.