Can you imagine falling in love with a person only you can see? Moreover, if this person were not alive, neither dead nor a ghost? The movie “Just Like Heaven” adapts Marc Levy’s groundbreaking book “Et si c’était vrai…” on the silver screen. Reese Witherspoon is in the boots of Elizabeth, a young and serious actor, who cannot find love and Marc Ruffalo plays David who just moved into his new apartment.
On a rainy day, while practicing her daily routine of being a serious doctor, Elizabeth is heading to work. Unfortunately, her car veers out of control into the path of a truck, sending her in a coma. The next scene shows David, a widow moving into a new apartment, trying to escape his tragic past. While David was lying on the couch with his beers and pizza, Elizabeth suddenly appears and asks him to stop making a mess of her house.
The plot twist of this movie is that only David can see andhear Elizabeth; she must be dead, yet she does not remember why or how. Her body is on life support at the hospital she used to work at, but her soul can pass through walls and objects. However she refuses to think she passed away. In the climax of the movie, David tries to help her to reconstruct her past and takes her out of town to a beautiful landscaped garden he designed. That is when her memory clicked.
Despite the fresh starting romance, David soon finds out that Elizabeth’s life support would be unplugged and she will soon die. He tried to convince her family to keep her alive by telling them the presence of her ghost. They labeled him as mentally disturbed and kicked him out of their house. Desperate David plots to steal Elizabeth’s body from the hospital and keep it in his home, thinking he and her ghost would take good care of her.
Realizing that what he is doing is ethically incorrect, and in a way to say his last goodbyes, David kisses Elizabeth’s lips. For his joy and everybody’s surprise, this kiss gave the body a new spirit and Elizabeth wakes up from her long coma. Conversely, she does not recognize him nor the memories they made together, which saddens David as he is leaving the hospital heartbroken.
“Just Like Heaven” is not a typical romance-comedy movie. It treats, in a way, social and moral issues such as euthanasia and life after death. This movie along with the original book can make people change their points of view on these issues. The actors’ passion in portraying their characters makes the movie even better and leaves the spectators in teary eyes. Reading the book is also highly recommended as it cemented Levy’s place in French literature. Finally, when you would have watched the movie and read the book, check out its sequel “Vous Revoir” the author made which adds a new twist to this strange romance.