Witherspoon is ‘Heaven’ sent

By on September 28, 2005

In Dream Works’ new release, “Just Like Heaven,” Reese Witherspoon stars as Elizabeth Masterson, a hardworking medical student burning the candle at both ends. Her reality on any given day has her working a 26 hour shift at St. Michael’s Hospital. Viewers are taken behind the scenes of her daily grind at St. Michael’s, which has her checking in on patients, making schedules, and gulping down countless cups of espresso to keep her awake. After a long day, it is time to head home, but for Elizabeth, her day is about to get a lot worse. While driving to her sister’s house in the rain, she crashes into a truck.

Featured opposite Witherspoon is Mark Ruffalo from “13 Going on 30″ (as David Abbott) who viewers meet as he is trying to decide on the perfect apartment. Fate brings him to Elizabeth’s place, which he ends up subletting. The first time David and Elizabeth meet, both try to kick the other out of the apartment, arguing that the other person is crazy. After several oddly eccentric encounters, they determine that Elizabeth is a ghost, who cannot recall anything about herself. Showing sympathy, David decides to take on the challenge of finding out exactly who she is.

Cinematography was one of the film’s high points, as cameramen had to really work to seamlessly perfect Witherspoon’s barely-there existence. One minute you see both Elizabeth and David talking, next David is seen talking to himself. In one scene, the duo enters a restaurant and a man collapses. Instantly, Elizabeth recalls her profession and counsels David on the necessary procedures to revive the man. In this humorous scene, you view his anxious and fearful persona, second guessing everything Elizabeth dictates. Also, there are the questionable glances from everyone in the restaurant wondering who he is conversing with.

When first viewing Witherspoon’s character, her performance as a ghost is dubious, but the film ends up being more about romance than special effects.

Director Mark Waters, (“Mean Girls”) showcased his talent again, by bringing this story to life. However, “Just like Heaven” is not on the same caliber as Witherspoon’s other movies, such as “Legally Blonde” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” Although the movie was slow to start and contained some insipid scenes, the funny ones definitely outweigh the unexciting ones.


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