Love transcends mortality in Just Like Heaven yet the memory of this romantic comedy doesn't linger long after the curtain falls. For its duration though, Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo make a charismatic couple brought together by their emotional or, in the case of Witherspoon's ghost, literal deadness. Surprisingly, Mark Waters (who directed the scathingly funny Mean Girls) completely skims the dark edges implied in the premise, however it is refreshing to see a love story played out with sincerity.
Witherspoon plays workaholic ER doctor Elizabeth who misses the point of life until she's hit by a truck. Unable to cross to 'the other side', she hangs out at her old apartment where Ruffalo has taken up residence as sad sack David. He aims to indulge a long-standing depression in more comfy surroundings, but his plan hits the skids when the spectral blonde manifests herself and proceeds to nag him about the coffee rings on her table.
These minor moments of friction demonstrate the film at its funniest while the broader schtick, like Elizabeth inhabiting David as he tries to impress a girl, is only vaguely amusing. Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) provides additional laughs as a psychic stoner, except that his involvement foretells a major plot twist. Thankfully, the relationship between David and Elizabeth is compelling enough by this stage that it doesn't matter too much. Witherspoon and Ruffalo bring depth to what is otherwise a fluffy yarn and ensure that, while it lacks the impact of 1990 classic Ghost, it wins the day with plenty of soul.