Just Like Heaven parents guide

Just Like Heaven Parent Guide

Overall C+

When David Abbot (Mark Ruffalo) rents a furnished apartment, he doesn't expect it to come complete with a ghost in the closet. Now he's having a devil of a time convincing the heavenly spirit (Reese Witherspoon) it's time for her to move on --especially when he begins to be haunted by romantic feelings.

Release date September 15, 2005

Violence B
Sexual Content C+
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is Just Like Heaven rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Just Like Heaven PG-13 for sexual content.

Run Time: 95 minutes

Parent Movie Review

A twenty-six hour shift in a busy hospital ward has left Dr. Elizabeth Martinson (Reese Witherspoon) run off her feet. But the evening isn’t over yet. She’s been invited to her sister’s (Dina Spybey) house for dinner. Unfortunately, a horrific accident keeps Elizabeth from making the engagement.

Meanwhile, David Abbot (Mark Ruffalo) is searching for an apartment. Following a traumatic event in his own life, the unshaven architect is on the prowl for a place where he can hunker down and drown himself in booze and despair. When a fully furnished suite suddenly comes on the market, he knows it is just what he needs to wallow around in.

However, David doesn’t count on sharing the place with anyone—especially a spirit who refuses to believe she is dead. Showing up unexpectedly, the otherworldly Elizabeth accuses David of breaking into her house and insists he get out immediately.

Yet even after hiring a Catholic priest and members of an Eastern religion to cast out the ghostly guest, David is haunted by the sudden appearances of the apparition. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he visits a bookstore specializing in the occult and metaphysical. There he meets Darryl (John Heder), a clerk who has the uncanny ability to sense spiritual beings. Finally finding someone who understands his predicament, David, with Darryl’s help, tries to convince Elizabeth it is time to move on to the other side.

It’s initially hard to know if the hallucinations David sees are real or the result of the endless cans of beer he drinks. He, along with several other characters, relies on alcohol to smooth out the bumps in life and lubricate uncomfortable social situations. Alternatively, Katrina (Ivana Milicevic), David’s downstairs neighbor, tries to alleviate her relationship disappointments by brazenly propositioning her new neighbor with her bare body.

But hallucination or not, the association between David and Elizabeth grows from annoying to amorous. While the romance between a mere mortal and a heavenly being presents some complications, it also offers some creativity and complexity to the plot. Audiences, though, may have a more difficult time buying into the scenario. Without any real chemistry in the air, this couple needs some divine intervention to resuscitate their mediocre affections.

Starring Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release September 15, 2005. Updated

Just Like Heaven Parents' Guide

Loneliness is a feeling several of the characters experience in this film. How does each of them deal with it? Does sexual activity alone fill the need for emotional connection?

Elizabeth is consumed by her career. How does that affect her relationship with others? Despite her worthy work of saving lives, what things does her profession fail to fulfill? What drives people to be workaholics?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Just Like Heaven movie is February 7, 2006. Here are some details…

Minus the clouds and harps, Just Like Heaven arrives on DVD in either wide or full screen versions. Both provide an assortment of fluffy bonus extras, like a commentary by director Bruce Green and cinematographer Daryn Okada, a gag reel and deleted scenes. More substantial offerings include the featurettes Meet the Cast (interviews with Reece Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Heder, as well as producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald) and the Making of Just Like Heaven. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) and French (Dolby Digital 5.1), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

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Mark Waters directed another out-of-body experience for a mother and daughter in the remake of the movie, Freaky Friday. Christopher Reeves plays a writer who is haunted by the face in a vintage photo and commits himself to discovering who the woman is in Somewhere In Time.