Ever since 2000’s ‘Almost Famous’, Kate Hudson seems to have forgotten that she is a talented actor worthy of good films. Her Oscar nominated performance as “Bandaid” Penny Lane now stands as the peek of her career followed by moderately successful yet lacklustre - and at times embarrassing (‘Fools Gold’ anyone?) projects. ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ is no exception to Hudson’s string of mediocre movies. ‘Heaven’ is about Marley, a highly successful, carefree, commitment-phobe who is suddenly struck with terminal cancer. The film then turns into a cliché mash (and mess) of a smothering mother, consoling friends, fixing "daddy issues" - and the inevitable final discovery of what was missing from your life before it’s too late. Enter oh-so-cute and adorable Doctor Julian Goldstein (dangerously miscast Gael Garcia Bernal), who risks his career when he falls for his dying patient and forces her to face reality as she begins to realise that she loves him too. Cue the “Aww’s”.
This film may not be as cringeworthy as it sounds, but it definitely has more than a few moments. The biggest comes when Marley makes a quick trip “upstairs” while undergoing a procedure and encounters God, or rather Whoopi Goldberg as God. Correction, Marley see’s God as Whoopi to make his/her presence more palatable. Got it? Anyway, God/Whoopi offers Marley three wishes. The best she can come up with is the ability to fly and a million dollars (she reserves the third for later). As these wishes start to be fulfilled in their own unique ways, you find yourself wanting to scream at the screen, wondering why didn’t she just wish to NOT have cancer.
The film invokes more than its far share of tear-inducing moments, but in all fairness our heroine is dying and discovering love at the same time.
The film invokes more than its far share of tear-inducing moments, but in all fairness our heroine is dying and discovering love at the same time. Marley’s relationship with her doctor is sweet, as is her relationship with her friends (played by Lucy Punch, Romany Malco and Rosemarie DeWitt), but are all chock-full of your typical Hollywood melodramatic hallmarks and emotional signposts.
‘A Little Bit of Heaven’, which by the way gets its name from a short-statured gigolo (Peter Dinklage) hired by one of Marley’s friends to give her a boost, is soft and fluffy and for anyone who loves or is in need of a good cry while feeling absolutely nothing.