Daily Chick Flick: Just Like Heaven  

Wow. Day 1 of the challenge isn't even officially over yet, and I'm already hoping for a case of swine flu to bail me out of the rest. If you've ever had the misfortune of seeing today's movie, Just Like Heaven, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's probably my own fault though, for not easing myself into things a little before watching a Mark Ruffalo movie. It's like going straight for the double black diamond run the very first time you strap on a pair of skis.

The plot of the film was predictably outlandish. Reese Witherspoon's character is a workaholic medical intern who just landed the permanent position she's been busting her ass for. In what is likely the most exciting moment of her dull life (as well as best part of the film), she gets hit head-on by a truck while on the way to a blind date at her sister's house. We're left to assume that she's dead when she reappears in spirit form to harass Mark Ruffalo's character, a dejected widower sub-letting her old apartment. At first she thinks that he's the one squatting in her apartment (cue hilarity!). Oh, and he's the only person who can see her, meaning all public conversations between the two leave him looking like a crazy person (hilarity squared!).

It was at this point in the movie that Christie and I paused to make some mini pizzas and I basically told her exactly how the movie was going to end. In short, Witherspoon's character was only in a coma -- not dead -- thus giving her a shot at love. I had even figured out that he was the guy that she was being set up with on the fateful night of her accident. At the climax, he attempts to steal her body from the hospital before she is taken off of life support, only to get caught, accidentally pull out her ventilator, and then give her the kiss of life because all is lost and she's dying, right. before. his. eyes. But in a unexpected turn of fortune -- Oh Nos! -- she doesn't remember him once out of the coma. In the end this is easily overcome when he builds her a garden and touches her hand. Doy.

Did the movie have any saving graces? Not really. I perked up at the beginning when I saw Jon Heder's name in the credits, only to have him disappoint with a performance that sort of felt like a stoner, community college-educated version of Napoleon Dynamite. I also wish that Ruffalo's character had tried a little bit harder to convince people that she was communicating with him before coming up with the genius idea of stealing her body. And right before that, when they just laid in bed next to each other and pretended to hold hands as part of her final wish? Come on. I realize she lacked a corporeal form, but she could have at least gotten naked for him. It was also demonstrated in an earlier part of the movie that she could enter and control Ruffalo's body, so why not hop in there long enough to help him help himself? It's not like she had to worry about it getting in her hair or anything.

For what it's worth, Reese Witherspoon is exceptionally easy on the eyes, and I admittedly chuckled a handful of times for reasons other than absurdity. Although I remain firm in my opinion that Mark Ruffalo's half-functional mouth makes him look like a stroke victim when he talks.

I've never claimed that the movies I enjoy are always an unparalleled cinematic experience. There is, however, usually some kind of visual payoff or gut response evoked by the action, violence, profanity, or downright childish nature of what's on the screen. In every way Just Like Heaven was the exact opposite of this for me. For this I give it 4 out of 5 pink tacos on the vaginometer, which would have been a 3 if she had only taken her shirt off.

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15 Reasons to Live

  • the projectivist  
    May 1, 2009 at 6:01 AM

    god that film is rubbish.
    i saw it a few weeks ago on telly.

    there are some good chic flick films about, you know. are you just going to pick crap?

  • Shannon  
    May 1, 2009 at 6:05 AM

    I personally wanted to watch you film yourself eating gross stuff, but you redeemed this 30 day topic for me with the pink taco meter. Hilarious.

  • shine  
    May 1, 2009 at 6:36 AM

    Okay, at the risk of pissing off your wife, this movie is freaking terrible. I watched it one weekend when I decided that getting off the couch was too much trouble and it came on television. I don't think I even laughed once (well, maybe at the ridiculousness of the chick who actually does get naked for Mark Ruffalo, but he's all, "Noooo...I'm in love with a ghost!" Riiiight.). Maybe you should have watched Juno first. Does that count as a chick flick?

  • Lindsey  
    May 1, 2009 at 7:36 AM

    I tried to watch a man movie last night called "The Wrestler". Half way through I was like "Jesus Christ, is there anything we can do to make this stop?!"

    So he turned it off.

    I would not survive through a "man movie" month. There is only so much staple gunning that I can handle.

  • Christie  
    May 1, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    I have to admit, it's not the best movie. But I love Reese, and I think Mark is hot, so Jay can suck it.

  • FilmFemme  
    May 1, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Your pink taco meter is genius.

    And I am in complete agreement with Christie that Mark Ruffalo is way hot. (And Jay can suck it).

  • Monkey Girl  
    May 1, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    Vaginaometer...classic.

    Keep 'em coming.

  • Kelly  
    May 1, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    Do they take away my va-jay-jay if I tell you that I've never heard of Mark Ruffalo? I haven't.

    I've never heard of this movie either!

    Obviously my husband controls all of the movies that come into our house. He's like a movie Nazi. Every once in a while though, he'll surprise me with something like Marley and Me. Usually a birthday or something...

  • Christian  
    May 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    So wait, the more pink tacos, the worse the movie?

  • Helena Handbasket  
    May 1, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Too funny. I saw this movie in the theater and it sucked. There are much better chick flicks out there, I promise!

  • Chris  
    May 1, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Wait. You're giving the movie pink tacos? Shouldn't you be giving it one or more stiffies? Or in this case, semi's?

  • hotpants™  
    May 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    If you take our advice, you'll see some movies that will make up for this crap. I didn't like it either.

  • Becky  
    May 2, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    Love the pink tacos :) So, on your scale, five is the worst rating?

    Yeah, this movie was particularly cheesy and predictable. Sweet Home Alabama is a little better, fortunately.

  • Ashley  
    May 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    ohhhh...pink tacos.

    you would.

    The movie has ONE saving grace *ahem!*

    The music. You can't lose with the Cure. Come on!

    Now boy, you need to watch a GOOD chick flick this month: Say Anything, P.S. I Love You and My Best Friend's Wedding are my recommendations.

  • Kelly  
    May 6, 2009 at 5:50 AM

    I'm sorry but I love the pink tacos. haha

    I can't believe I am so behind on this! I'm pinching myself.

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