Though completely implausible, this spirited romantic comedy (whose funniest lines are given away by its much-aired ads) works because of the utterly charming leads and a strong supporting cast. Finding the perfect San Francisco apartment is almost as difficult as finding a soul mate. When David (Mark Ruffalo) signs a month-to-month lease on an amazing furnished place, complete with coveted amenities like a fireplace, private roof access and a really comfortable couch, he has no idea that true love might be part of the package. He's just starting to get settled when a demanding blonde named Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) appears out of nowhere and claims ownership; afraid that he's been scammed, David tries to reason with the neat freak who's busy chastising him for not using coasters. But she disappears during the middle of their discussion and David's best friend (Donal Logue) can't see her at all. Is David having a beer-induced hallucination, or is he being haunted? He tries to exorcise Elizabeth, but the stubborn spirit insists she's not dead; occult expert Darryl (Jon Heder) agrees that she's the most alive ghost he's ever encountered. Since Elizabeth has become a serious thorn in David's side, he reluctantly agrees to help her find out more about the past she can't remember. Curiously, he discovers that Elizabeth was almost an invisible presence when she was alive; none of the building's other tenants remembers anything about her at all. An odd coincidence jogs one fact loose from Elizabeth's memory: She's a doctor. David pays a visit to the nearest hospital, where Elizabeth's coworkers finally shed some light on how things came to the their present awkward pass, and why she elected to haunt David. Director Mark Waters has a knack for balancing real-life situations with fantasy and/or extraordinary turns of events: He scored bull's-eyes with both MEAN GIRLS (2004) and FREAKY FRIDAY (2003). His secret weapons in this film are the innately likable Witherspoon and Ruffalo, a gifted actor brimming with scruffy charm; in their hands a silly story and clichéd dialogue come to life. Though loyal NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004) fans may be disappointed that Heder isn't one of the leads, Waters wisely uses him in small but appropriate doses.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Though completely implausible, this spirited romantic comedy (whose funniest lines are given away by its much-aired ads) works because of the utterly charming leads and a strong supporting cast. Finding the perfect San Francisco apartment is almost as diff… (more)