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Not a Heavenly film!
A Little Bit Of Heaven (DVD)
Member Name: mummy2harry
A Little Bit Of Heaven (DVD)
Advantages: Kate Hudson and Gael Garcia Bernal are great, some may see it as uplifting
Disadvantages: VERY hard to watch, emotional, deals with tough themes, emotional, oh did I mention its emotional??
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.
Summary: An emotive film about one woman's battle with cancer but not for me!