Not A Review Of “Just Like Heaven”

So having in recent weeks subjected my wife to “Snowpiercer” (“What kind of train has an aquarium and a nightclub in it?”) and “Ender’s Game” (“All I’ve figured out so far is it’s a bunch of kids playing video games.”), I decided we needed something she might actually pay attention to. Enter “Just Like Heaven“, AKA the romantic comedy where the ghost of Tracy Flick meets the Incredible Hulk, with an assist from Napoleon Dynamite. Or something like that.

Attack of the Fifty Foot Flick
Attack of the Fifty Foot Flick

The premise of the film is that The Incredible Hulk rents Tracy Flick’s apartment after her car gets squashed by a truck, and soon begins seeing her spirit around the place, mostly appearing to do things like berate him for drinking too much beer or putting his mug down on her coffee table without a coaster. (She may be the ghost of Monica in a blonde wig.) Naturally, hilarity and incorporeal romance ensue. The film owes various debts to “Ghost” and “All Of Me” and other movies where the specter of one character can only be seen by one person, but it’s generally well-done and underplayed (and when it goes over the top a couple of times, it’s to hilarious effect — my wife actually laughed out loud a few times, which puts it on a par with some of her favorite comedies, such as “Running Scared” [the funny one with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal, not the violent one with Paul Walker that I haven’t seen] and “My Cousin Vinny”). And of course you can’t go wrong casting either Tracy Flick or The Incredible Hulk in anything. They make almost as good an on-screen couple as The Incredible Hulk and Black Widow, but with less smashing.

“Just Like Heaven” put my wife to sleep in about 45 minutes, which is pretty good for a movie not directed by Guillermo del Toro. Once she fell asleep, it will surprise no one to learn that I started watching the season finale of “Doctor Who”, only to have her suddenly wake up (no doubt because Dennis did something), at which point she went into the kitchen to make herself a smoothie, then back to the living room to drink the smoothie, which of course meant I had to stop watching “Doctor Who” — in the middle of an invasion of Earth by Cybermen under the direction of The Master Missy the evil Mary Poppins, no less! — so we could finish up “Just Like Heaven”.

Me: “Does it count as watching a movie in a single sitting if you fall asleep, then wake up and start watching it again?”
Wife: “No.”

So while “Just Like Heaven” didn’t quite reach the stratospheric single-sitting-viewing of, say, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” or “Cyrus”, it did pretty well. Certainly better than “Godzilla” (“Did they tell Bryan Cranston he had to let himself go and look like a schlub for this movie?”), anyway. And I did get to finish up “Doctor Who” afterwards, thanks for asking.

Wife: “How old is this Doctor Who actor?”
Me: “Umm I think he’s like fifty-seven.”
Wife: “He looks like he’s in his seventies.”

Mmm, when two thousand years old you are, look as good, you will not! I do like the new Doctor (the actor, Peter Capaldi, was fantastic in his earlier Whoverse appearances, most notably in “Children of Earth”, which was far and away the best season of “Torchwood”, and is just as excellent playing the good Doctor Himself), and although he’s been saddled with some seriously awful scripts (Earth’s moon is a space dragon egg? Really?), the last few episodes have been a marked improvement over earlier in the season; and as for the season-ending villain, well, to quote the lady herself:

Sadly, I now have no more BBC to watch until “Orphan Black” returns. I don’t know what will happen in Season Three of that show, but I am confident that it will feature amazing performances by Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, and a handful of other people who can also act.

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