Just Like Heaven

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

In this comedic romance based in fantasy, Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) is a dedicated intern whose career is cut short by a tragic accident. When David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo), a young widower trying to start a new life, sublets Elizabeth’s vacated San Francisco apartment, her spirit begins appearing to him at all hours of the day and night, criticizing the way the new tenant takes care of her “stuff.” He even showers in bathing trunks because he never knows when his mysterious visitor will come calling. David confides in his psychiatrist friend, Jack (Donal Logue), who is equally baffled. Eventually David and the spirited Elizabeth become friends, but it takes some detective work for him to find out who she is and what really happened to her. As he follows the threads of a raveled life, David weaves them into an amazing tapestry of discovery about himself and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth’s moving through walls, appearing out of nowhere and otherwise acting like any homeowner would who finds a stranger in her house adds to the humor. David commissions a Catholic priest to perform an exorcism on his apartment to rid it of the ghostly Elizabeth. When that doesn’t work, he tries New Age and Eastern religion remedies. While in a restaurant, one of the diners suffers cardiac arrest, and Elizabeth directs a terrified David through a surgical procedure on the dying man to save his life. There is no sex, but one of David’s neighbors tries in vain to seduce him while Elizabeth’s ghost is standing by. The only nudity is a brief glimpse of an elderly man’s rear as he walks down the hall at the hospital. Due to unfortunate and unnecessary strong language and the questionable theme of a human spirit/ghost with supernatural powers, this film earns a slight negative acceptability rating. While it’s clearly fantasy, Just Like Heaven may mislead young children who can’t separate fantasy from reality.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times – mild (hell 3, damn 1); strong (-ss 4, wh-re 1)

Obscene Language: Few (2) times – strong (s-word 1, finger gesture 1)

Profanity: Several (6) times – moderate (MG 6)

Violence: Few times – mild (man races through hospital and knocks down man trying to block him)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once – mild (old man’s backside exposed by open hospital gown)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times –moderate (woman makes explicit comments in attempt to seduce man she just met, woman enters man’s apartment and disrobes off camera)

Drugs: Few times – mild (some alcohol consumption)

Other: Man haunted and taunted by spirit of woman only he can see, New Age psychobabble and priest’s exorcism used to diminish appearances of spirit, spirit directs man to perform surgical procedure to save man’s life

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and Adults

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