Paranormally Incorrect

'Just Like Heaven' may follow all the rules for romantic comedies, but it gets near-death experiences all wrong.

Continued from page 1

In one inexplicable scene in a bar, David is seen to be furiously wrestling with himself to bring a whiskey glass to his lips as the invisible Elizabeth pushes him out the door.

"Why am I the only one who can see you?"

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    The physics of how this might take place is a mystery to me. It also violates a convention set by the writers themselves. Elizabeth's out-of-body hand has already been shown to pass through her telephone, not to mention in and out of David's jaw. So, how does she manage to push him out the door?

    When David finally asks the question I'd been asking myself--"Why am I the only one who can see you?"--the answer comes not from physics or from metaphysics, but from the conventions of romantic comedy. These are star-crossed lovers whose fates are intertwined in serpentine synchronicities to be revealed later on and upon which several important plot points twirl.

    Elizabeth is a workaholic doctor who has been putting off her "real life." David has been living like the "walking dead" since his wife died in an accident two years ago. Elizabeth tells him when they finally bed down that "I think you are my unfinished business." David wakes up the following morning with a metaphor of his own: "I was the one who was dead. Now I know what I must do." And he does it.

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