Just Like Heaven
ONE FINE DAY. 1996
Director: Michael Hoffman

JUST LIKE HEAVEN. 2005
Director: Mark Waters

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



One Fine Day One Fine Day (1996) is an entertaining, well-acted, fluffy, & totally predictable romantic comedy.

Single mom Melanie (Michelle Pfeiffer) & single dad Jack (George Clooney) try to make it through a difficult day with their kids in the way of their careers, their careers in the way of good parenting, & life in general in the way of finding love.

Jack & Melanie meet for the first time because their kids go to the same school. They begin the new day of frustrating adventures full of mutual antagonism, Melanie by far the bitchier of the two. Step by step they begin to fall in love, as if that were unexpected.

There's nothing new in any of it. But their kids are convincingly portrayed & all four key characters interact so amusingly & credibly that the film fulfills its hopeful romantic date-movie function.

It may be of particular value for single parents in need of an hour & a half of hopeful idealization of the actual difficulties they face.



Just Like Heaven Just Like Heaven (2005) is an effective, lighthearted fantasy-comedy about young Dr, Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon), who was in an accident & has remained in a coma for three months. What a funny premise!

She'd been so involved with her career that she'd never bothered to have much in the way of a personal life, & now it looks like that's no longer an option.

Her wandering spirit can be seen by only one lonesome architect, David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo), who has sublet Elizabeth's apartment.

Essential to romantic comedies is how predestined couples annoy each other at first. David can't get the pushy obnoxious ghost-woman to get the hell out & leave him in peace. So of course a ghostly romance develops between them as he assists the amnesiac ghost in remembering who she was in life.

Soon they discover her physical body is on life support in the hospital, with the decision pending to unplug her & let her die a natural death. It's a race to find a way back into her body before she's unplugged & living is no longer an option.

Just Like HeavenAs a sometimes-dour romance, the viewer never doubts our heroine's life will be restored to live happily ever after with a sensitive dude.

So it's not suspenseful, though anyone susceptible to a love story will be captivated by their unique plight.

David's story is rather dour, too, as he's grieving the sudden loss of his beloved Laura & has not been involved with anyone since her death.

Darryl (Jon Heder, forever to be known as Napoleon Dynamite, 2004) is a psychic who can see Elizabeth's aura, & lends the "couple" advice. He's the comic relief in the midst of the comedy.

Our hero decides to kidnap Elizabeth's body from the hospital to keep her alive himself. The predictability of the tale persists, including knowing way in advance he'll eventually try the Prince Charming kiss.

Hoky & dorky, if you're in the mood for lightheartedness, Just Like Heaven is a good choice. It's a very well done tale that touches effectively upon sorrow, romance, healing, & love.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]