By Amy Ryan
September 16, 2005 at 07:41 PM EDT

Reese Witherspoon’s new romantic comedy is, um, heaven-sent for movie reviewers and their headline-writing editors. A lot of critics were creeped out by Just Like Heaven‘s premise (Witherspoon plays a comatose doctor who romances her apartment’s new tenant, Mark Ruffalo, via astral projection), but many didn’t mind just because the actress is so darn cute and sweet. So, in addition to the expected wordplay on ”heaven,” ”spirit,” ”dead,” and the like, there were several critics who resorted instead to sugar puns and metaphors. Thankfully, no one turned to Dante and called the film a divine comedy.

‘Heaven’ Help Us:
Louisville Courier-Journal: Stars make film heavenly
Salt Lake Tribune: Romantic comedy is almost heavenly
Detroit News: ‘Heaven’ falls short of divine
New York Newsday: ‘Heaven’ knows this pair is good

Whines and spirits:
Los Angeles Daily News: Moved by the spirit
Birmingham News: Caught up in the spirit: Sweet story overcomes Idiot Plot
New York Post: Getting in the spirit
Ottawa Sun: A spirited diversion

Giving up the ghost:
Miami Herald: Actors give this romantic comedy a ghost of a chance
Philadelphia Inquirer: Ghostly Witherspoon can’t save the ghastly ‘Heaven’

Sitting in Limbo:
The Oregonian: More like purgatory
New York Sun: Romance in Purgatory

‘Dead’ ringers:
Christian Science Monitor: Witherspoon proves romance isn’t dead
New Times: Death Warmed Over: Romance is alive… and dead in Just Like Heaven
Buffalo News: Dead Weight

Reese’s pieces:
Charlotte Observer: As sweet as cotton candy
Orlando Sentinel: Complete fluff but so adorable!
Denver Post: Sweet Reese goes sour in sugary comedy
Detroit Free Press: JUST LIKE SUGAR: ‘Heaven’ is way too sweet

Which other movie does this remind us of?
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Far from ‘Heaven’
Boston Herald: Death becomes her: Despite Witherspoon’s charm, ‘Just Like Heaven’ falls short
Arizona Daily Star: Wanna see a movie? ‘Heaven’ can wait
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Just Like Heaven: To workaholic doc’s spirit, it’s a wonderful afterlife
New York Times: A Wonderful Afterlife, but Must Share Bath
St. Paul Pioneer Press: All saps go to heaven

Tell us how you really feel:
The Daily Herald (Everett, Wash.): Romantic — and morbid
Rocky Mountain News: Dead, living a bad match in ‘Heaven’
Metro Toronto: Just Like Garbage

addCredit(“Just Like Heaven: Peter Iovino”)