* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 2011, Cert. 12
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 106 mins
DIRECTOR: Nicole Kassell
PRODUCERS: John Davis, Mark Gill, Robert Katz, Neil Sacker & Adam Schroeder
SCREENPLAY: Gren Wells
MUSIC: Heitor Pereira
Kate Hudson as Marley Corbett
Gael Garcia Bernal as Dr. Julian Goldstein
Kathy Bates as Beverly Corbett
Romany Malco as Peter Cooper
Lucy Punch as Sarah Walker
Rosemarie DeWitt as Renee Blair
Treat Williams as Jack Corbett
Steven Weber as Rob Randolf
Whoopi Goldberg as God
Peter Dinklage as Vinnie
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Marley is a bubbly, cheerful young 20-something woman who enjoys life to the full. She has a good job, a very close circle of good friends, her own home and a dog. Shying away from close romantic relationships, Marley is more than happy with her life as it is, being somewhat commitment-phobic due to fear of rejection and being hurt.
One day after a friend notices that she looks a bit off-colour, Marley takes herself for a medical checkup, not expecting the diagnosis to be anything serious. However, further tests reveal that she is suffering from cancer of the colon.
To find out how Marley, her family and her friends react towards and cope with her illness, you must watch the film yourself.
A Little Bit Of Heaven is one of these films where human attitudes and emotions are tested during difficult times. There is a slight vein of humour running through the storyline, but this humour isn't of a nature that is compatible with my own.
I wasn't too sure what the film's content would be when I chose to watch it, so I went into it more or less blind.
Firstly, I found the characters, particularly that of Marley, quite irritating....maybe too effusive and garrulous for my own tastes. The acting throughout the film really is quite good, especially that of Kate Hudson as Marley and Kathy Bates as Beverly, her mother. The role of Marley must have been quite a difficult one to play and perfect, but Kate Hudson nailed it, and Kathy Bates can do no wrong in my eyes anyway. I did love the little untidy bits of the mother and daughter relationship, and I felt the two actresses worked well together. However, A Little Bit Of Heaven wasn't all plain sailing for me.
Because of its subject matter - and dare I say it also being an American film - A Little Bit Of Heaven contains levels of slush that I personally find very uncomfortable. Of course I appreciate that were the film's situation real life, those concerned have a huge cross to bear (for obvious reasons), but I go into cringe overload when issues such as terminal illness are liberally decorated with mounds of mawkishness, and A Little Bit Of Heaven has plenty of the modern-day version.
I won't 100% slate this film though because it is quite well put together and the acting standards are more than acceptable, plus it is interesting to study the way different people deal with issues such as potentially terminal illness from whatever their places are within the situation. I think what is well conveyed in A Little Bit Of Heaven is how some people launch into denial whereas some other people go into overdrive regarding bringing the subject out into the open, wanting to discuss it to death beyond what is probably healthy. The most eye-opening part for me was to realise that however any of the people involved dealt with - or didn't, as the case may be - the knowledge that one of their family members/friends has a potentially fatal illness, each one was trying to make themselves feel better about it under the unintentional guise of supporting the sufferer. Of course this is human nature and something we're probably all aware of at some level, but this film draws it to the surface....it certainly made me think about what my own reactions would be towards a friend or family member of mine were they to be diagnosed with a serious, possibly terminal condition.
The music to A Little Bit Of Heaven I found largely twee and a bit irritating, although the opening and closing theme is quite good, and I did enjoy a couple of soul/blues-flavoured numbers that cropped up here and there during the film.
Much of A Little Bit Of Heaven is predictable as it is a story which has been told many times before, but although overall it isn't my type of film (largely due to high slush levels), it is quite a sleek production which isn't boring to watch, but I don't think I'll be going back for second helpings. It is probably one of the better films I've seen of this type - for instance it far supersedes something like Love Story - but it is all much too twee and neat....in reality, life just doesn't happen like that as our existences are riddled with loose ends.
If you enjoy a bit of tissue-grabbing sentimentality, then A Little Bit Of Heaven I'm sure would be something you'd like, but if you are the sort of person who is embarrassed by gushing 'mawk', then it may be best to give it a miss.
At the time of writing, A Little Bit Of Heaven can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.89 to £999.00 - crazy, so the one underneath that is £199.99 which is almost equally crazy!
Used: from £2.80 to £8.40
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
I saw this on the movie channels on Sky and thought it looked quite good so I set it to record on Sky and watched it this morning. As I watched this on TV this is a film only review.
Marley is a young woman who is enjoying life. She has an extremely successful career, has great friends and enjoys working hard and then playing hard to even it all up. She doesn't have a long term partner but she doesn't want one. She is seeing someone but there is no way that they will settle down, after all its just a bit of fun.
After her friend comments that she is looking thinner and not herself she agrees to visit the doctor assuming that he will send her away telling her she is stressed or overworked. When she gets there it is obvious that there could be a bigger problem when he feels her stomach and she experiences intense pain, what will happen with Marley and will she be honest with her friends?
I really enjoyed this film. I thought the plot was interesting as there aren't too many films about with this kind of plot and there was lots to focus on and there were two main storylines really which meant you were never left a little bored.
The character of Marley is very down to earth and realistic. She is a very sweet girl who gets understandably stressed out at times because she does have a lot on her plate. I felt a real connection with her and found her very easy to understand and empathise with.
Marleys friends provided a lot of light hearted relief in the film and my favourite character was most certainly Sarah as she was a bit out of the box and a joy to watch.
The plot had a clear aim however there were a number of moments throughout the film where I did think hang on a minute is this actually going to end how I think it is? It did end how I thought it would but it was done very well and was quite quickly done which meant that I didn't mind about it being a little predictive.
The film was released in 2011.
Kate Hudson - Marley
Lucy Punch - Sarah
Gael Garcia Bernal - Julian
Whoopie Goldberg - God
It runs for 106 minutes.
A very good chick flick which is interesting and one that is definitely worth a watch.
Marley Corbett is loving her life. She's single but has plenty of men that she can call whenever she needs some 'male company', she has her 2 best friends in the world, and a gorgeous little apartment too. However, when she starts to feel a bit under the weather, she decides to head to the doctor for a check up. He quickly delivers the news that Marley is suffering from cancer, and that its pretty far gone. Even for Marley and her cheerful outlook on life, this is a lot to deal with, not to mention the very different reactions she gets from her friends as well. Marley has to cope with a disease that is slowly robbing her of her own life, and her flourishing relationship with her doctor, Julian Goldstein. Is Marley going to be able to beat the disease, or is it a case of sorting out her affairs before it's too late? Will she ever find her own little bit of heaven?
I hadn't heard of this film until it turned up at my parents while Harry and I were visiting on a half term break. I love Kate Hudson, and eagerly one evening we all decided to put it on, assuming it was going to be one of Hudson's great rom-coms, like my favourite 'How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days'. Well, around 45 minutes in, we all realised that this was definitely NOT the romcom we had all planned for it to be, and to be honest, I was quite shocked with the film. My brother went so far as to proclaim it "the biggest pile of poo" he'd ever seen, absolutely hating. Whilst I didn't hate it, it wasn't what I had expected, and having now seen it, I'm not sure if it is something I would have chosen to see, and I know it won't be one I will be watching again.
Kate Hudson plays cancer-stricken Marley, and I felt she did a very good job with what is quite a hard role. She begins quite a light-hearted character, putting forward her comedy acting as usual, but then when the film takes a more serious turn, she tries to almost continue that nonchalant attitude despite what's happening and I found that a little hard. Also, even though to look more ill Hudson refrains from wearing any make-up, she still looks well if you know what I mean, and her full head of blonde curls is sure to anger some viewers, even though not all cancer sufferers lose their hair during their treatment, yet I felt Hollywood wouldn't go that far which was a shame. However, I can't fault Hudson too much in her performance, and I really enjoyed her chemistry with co-star Gael García Bernal, who plays her doctor Julian Goldstein.
Bernal was very good in his role, although I can't say I was completely convinced in him as a doctor on-screen. However, he was very good with Hudson, and the relationship between the pair of them on-screen was fantastic and very watchable. Someone else I have to really complement is the wonderful Kathy Bates, who played Marley's mother Beverley. Bates puts across the emotions of a mother suffering her daughter's pain along with her so well, you believed she really was Hudson's mother, and that the things going on on-screen were really happening. As a mother myself, I found her emotion a bit hard to watch at times as you have awful thoughts of being in Beverley's position, but full credit to Bates for such a convincing and emotive performance. I have to say the whole cast though did a really job, and it was really interesting to see how each of Marley's relationships were affected by her cancer battle, and how people react differently to these things, some able to cope far better than others.
If you are sensitive to certain themes such as cancer, terminal illness and death, then this film really isn't for you. If you've recently been touched by any of these issues, then this film is probably going to be too much for you and I would advise you to avoid it like the plague. If you are at all emotional when watching films, then stock up on the tissues because you are going to need them. It's a very emotional watch, you'll feel drained by the end, so please go into it with the expectation of it not being easy. While it begins quite happy and jolly, it quickly descends into sorrow and misery, although they do try to lighten it with some humour which falls a bit flat. They didn't really show any of Marley's treatment either, more the after-effects which in a way was good, but perhaps some may expect to see that. Marley also seems to make treatment decisions far too easily for my liking, which I again felt unrealistic, but I suppose the movie had to move along at a relatively good pace. I want to mention the setting of the film, but there isn't really anything remarkable to comment on, although the soundtrack with the blues of New Orleans playing was fantastic, and it was quite unusual to see a film set here.
With all that being said, Kate Hudson is brilliant in it, and although I felt several things about it were unrealistic (her full head of beautiful hair throughout being one of them), for the most part I felt the filmmakers portrayed the issues in the film very well, and I felt like as a viewer, we really went through the emotions with Marley, her family and friends as well. Juts do be aware of the very sad nature of this film, and use your discretion when choosing to watch it because it really won't suitable for some people. A few reviews I have seen say it's very uplifting and sweet, but I found it too draining for me, and it played on my mind for far too long afterwards, I don't think I cope very well watching things like this. As I say, I wouldn't watch it again, but it was okay, nothing amazing though. I prefer something that makes me laugh if I'm honest, and sadly despite a few attempts at humour, it definitely didn't cheer me up at all, and I'm really reluctant to recommend it.
Directed by Nicole Kassell
Written by Gren Wells
Running Time: 106 minutes
Kate Hudson ... Marley Corbett
Peter Dinklage ... Vinnie
Kathy Bates ... Beverly Corbett
Whoopi Goldberg ... God
Lucy Punch ... Sarah Walker
Gael García Bernal ... Julian Goldstein
Johann Urb ... Doug
Rosemarie DeWitt ... Renee Blair
Treat Williams ... Jack Corbett
The DVD is available on Amazon for £7.49 and on Blu-ray for £7.99 (November 2011 prices).
Thank you for reading.
Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is young, beautiful, and wildly funny, but shes afraid of opening herself up to true love and commitment. Though she uses her humour to prevent matters from getting serious, a life-changing visit to her doctor (Gael Garcia Bernal) sends both of them on an eye-opening adventure of mutual discovery, leading to revelations neither thought possible.