It’s Just Like Heaven in Hamilton

From the director of Mean Girls and Freaky Friday comes the new boy-meets-ghost-girl romantic comedy, Just Like Heaven.

Mark Ruffalo, whom you may recognize from 13 Going on 30, stars as David Abbot, a man with the good fortune to rent a fully furnished apartment in San Francisco.

It soon becomes apparent that he will be getting a little more than he bargained for. The ghost of the previous owner is still in the house, and there is a slight problem: she refuses to believe that she is dead.

Reese Witherspoon shines as Elizabeth, the ex-doctor/ghost who wants David out of her apartment. Her “haunting” is more annoying than frightening to David, and he has to learn to deal with the fact that he is the only one who can see and hear her. Despite the initial clash between the two, they begin to work together to find her corporeal body when it becomes apparent that she is not dead.

David and Elizabeth eventually find out that her body is in an extended coma due to a car accident and that her family and doctors will soon be pulling the plug on her life support. The two must race against the clock to find a way to reconnect her body and spirit before it’s too late.

You can imagine the romance and the hilarity that ensue.

Good on-screen chemistry between Witherspoon and Ruffalo make this a cute, enjoyable film. Witherspoon portrays the role of a workaholic-turned ghost very convincingly and Ruffalo nails all the nuances of playing the man who is chosen to help her while dealing with his own personal loss.

John Heder of Napoleon Dynamite does a good turn as an employee at a metaphysical bookstore David frequents to aid in his dealings with Elizabeth. His part is small but provides a refreshing dose of the random humor the world has come to expect of him.

Effervescent, quick dialogue keeps the story moving along at a pleasant tempo and builds the relationship between the two leads.

Although the movie may have a fa?cade of simplicity or shallowness in its light-hearted treatment of the storyline, there are actually many heavier undercurrents flowing throughout. The underlying themes of death, loss of loved ones and moving on are ones that everyone can relate to, providing a sharp contrast to the apparently cute silliness of the film.

The film also addresses the controversy of artificially prolonged life. The film takes neither side of this debate, however, simply portraying a story that causes the viewer to ponder the moral obligations and considerations concerning the topic.

The only particularly low point of the film was the abundance of scenes in which David talks to Elizabeth’s ghost, which then morph into scenes in which David talks to himself with passersby looking at him strangely. The joke was amusing the first couple of times, but became a little overdone as the movie progressed.

As with any roman