A Little Bit Of Heaven
A Little Bit Of Heaven centres around the life of Marley (Hudson), a care free commitment phobe with a loving group of friends and a ridiculously large bulldog. Her life collapses when she is diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, a situation made worse when she falls in love with her doctor (Bernal). Marley spends the entire film working out how to live and how to die, and with the help of Whoopi (Goldberg) she finally leaves this planet a happy lady.
If I gave away too many spoilers I apologise, but really, you find out in the first ten minutes that Marley’s cancer is terminal so the rest of the film is hardly going to be a shock anyway. The obvious intent of this movie was to demonstrate that fighting spirit in the face of adversity, the power of having a supportive group of friends and family around you, and being in love are the most important things in the world.
Therefore, the film can be summed up thus- Marley thinks she has the perfect life, great job, great friends, great dog, casual sex whenever she wants it. A small matter like ass cancer isn’t going to get in her way (her words, not mine). But really, what she wants is to fall in love, and so she struggles through her disease until she is willing to admit she is head over heels in love with Dr G. Opening up emotionally is all it takes for her to be able to die happy. I kid you not.
I’m not sure what was more offensive- the notion that your life is only complete when you have been in love, or the fact that someone actually thought two hours of cancer jokes would make an audience happy. The cast do their best, but the whole story is so flawed that it is a miracle anyone bothered to make it. On a positive note- Gael Garcia Bernal is always wonderful to watch, and the same goes for Kathy Bates. Even Kate Hudson comes across as likable, but the cast cannot detract from the film’s massive flaw- namely that it attempts to trivialise cancer.
As a chick flick, it is offensive to woman. As a comedy, it isn’t funny. The delivery might be ok, but the ideas are awful. Even the over dramatized ending, with Dr G rushing to the hospital to tell his soul mate he loves her moments before she dies is so clichéd it is untrue. Cinema should be about escapism. And no one wants to escape into a world of cancer, pain and suffering over trivialised with puns, jokes and shopping montages. A Little Bit Of Heaven has valiantly tried to move away from traditional chick flick territory, in a bid to be original and memorable. It has succeeded, but for all the wrong reasons.