On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN (Millennium), starring Kate Hudson is available now On Demand before in theaters on May 4, 2012
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN
By Amy Slotnick
It is hard to make cancer funny. Many have tried -- 50/50, WHEN GOD SAID HA! and THE BIG C, come to mind. Like those, A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN, the new film from director Nicole Kassel and screenwriter Gren Wells, succeeds with bringing levity and romance to a serious, and frightening subject.
Kate Hudson plays Marley Corbett, a successful, wildly funny and flirty advertising exec. Besides a few friends and a loyal bulldog, she lives a workaholic lifestyle, with one-night stands being a matter of course, along with regular breakfasts of Pepto Bismol. Emotions and commitment are generally kept at an arms length. So when Marley learns she has advanced stage colon cancer, it is not surprising that at first she attempts to hide and laugh at it, in order to avoid the grave meaning at all costs.
Marley’s doctor, played by Gael Garcia Bernal, is unable to resist her charm and their chemistry emerges, even when Hudson is made to look pale and drained from treatments. It takes Marley longer to open herself up to love, but when she finally does, she is all in, embracing feelings of joy along with her physical pain.
The filmmakers do a good job of including some of the harsh realities of cancer within the film’s cute, romcom sensibility. But this is cancer ultra lite, for sure – a world where chemo doesn’t make your hair fall out and the worst thing shown is Marley hugging the toilet bowl. Her department store temper tantrum at her mother’s expense and conflicts with her pregnant best friend, give the character some needed reality and depth.
Several conceits, such as three wishes granted in a dream and a silly scene with a male prostitute, nicknamed ‘little bit of heaven,” feel awkward and shallow. However, the filmmakers have assembled an excellent cast that includes Kathy Bates as Marley’s uptight mother, Peter Dinklage as the mercurial male prostitute, Whoopi Goldberg as the representation of God in Marley’s dreams, and Lucy Punch, Romany Malco and Rosemarie DeWitt as her best friends.
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN is now available On Demand before its theatrical premiere on May 4, 2012..
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN (Millennium) is in your local cable movies on demand section.
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