Just like Heaven: A Throwback RomCom That’ll Bless Your Next Girls’ Night

Ghosts, spirit-walkers, hallucinations: If you’re into stories about people falling in love with somebody who isn’t physically present, then you’re gonna love Just like Heaven: it’s a romantic comedy about a widowed landscape architect who falls in love with the spirit that haunts him. Visually stunning!

To be honest, I hadn’t thought about Just like Heaven in a long time. But when a song from the trailer – Train’s “Calling all Angels” – came on while I was at a department store the other day, I was immediately transported back to the summer of ’05 when two of my best friends and I went to see it at our local art house cinema. Apart from us the theatre was empty, but the three of us fell completely in love with the film, quoting the most romantic passages to each other for days to come. I even got the dvd which disappeared mysteriously after I lent it to one of the girls I saw it with at the theatre (Cat, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know that I forgive you). Here’s why you should stream it…

What’s it about? A widowed landscape architect moves into a coma patient’s apartment and becomes haunted by her spirit. As he tries to figure out what happened to her, hoping that it will help her move on, the two of them start to develop feelings for each other.

What’s it really about? Learning when to hold on and when to let go.

Just like Heaven (2005): Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday); running-time 95mins.; starring Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde), Mark Ruffalo (Begin Again), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Ivana Milicevic (Running Scared).

Pick if:

  • You’re feeling romantic. Otherwise you will find this film incredibly sappy, possibly intolerable. It might even work as a date night pick  – Mark Ruffalo’s just got that cool factor that make him bro-crushworthy
  • You like films where people either fall in love with, or continue a relationship with someone who isn’t metaphysically present, i.e. who is only visible to them. After all, films like Ghost,The Lake House, or Just like Heaven remind us that love is not just about carnal desire, but about a spiritual connection with another human being
  • You’ve been working too much: the film will serve as a reminder that your job doesn’t mean anything if you have nothing or no one to come home to (pets totally count and so does a good book or box set if you ask me)
  • You appreciate art direction: Just like Heaven stuns with gorgeous panorama shots of San Francisco that will make you want to pack your bags and hop on a plane to the West Coast in a heartbeat
  • You’re a fan of landscape architecture: Elizabeth’s dream landscape will give you major garden envy and quite possibly become your new happy place

Most memorable scene: David shows Elizabeth one of the gardens he’s designed, which happens to be the exact same garden Elizabeth sees in her dreams – and it’s breathtakingly beautiful!

Most memorable quote: 

David: Thank you for helping us, Jack.
Jack: I’m not doing it for you.
David: Then why are you doing it?
Jack : Because someday, trust me, I’m gonna need help moving a body. And when that day comes, I don’t wanna hear any shit from you.

Magic Music Moment: **********************SPOILER*************************
When Elizabeth wakes up from her coma, she has no recollection of David, or the time she’s spent with him in spirit. Crestfallen, David decides to give her space. A montage set to Amos Lee’s “Colours” shows him visiting all the places they’ve been to together, then cuts to Elizabeth finding herself in the same places, looking confused because she clearly feels connected to them in a way that she can’t explain.

Where can I watch? Just like Heaven is available for streaming on Netflix UK, Brazil and Canada, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, as well as Maxdome in Germany.


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