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4.0 out of 5 stars
A Little Bit of Heaven
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
Without revealing any real spoilers I have to say...
I'm not much for the "Chick Flick"/romance genre, but this movie wowed me.

Kate Hudson put in a performance of such quality, that I haven't seen from her since "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days". She starts out fun and flirty with a bit of despicable mixed in. Then her character moved me to a bit of hatred for the treatment she issued to her family and friends. Then towards the end she made me fall in love with her character and almost come to tears for her predicament.

There's a lot of teaching, learning and cameraderie throughout the movie. There are laughs shared and tears shed between the characters. Every single moment within the movie feels genuine, and I can genuinely see myself or anybody else going through the same phases if faced with a similar situation. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find out that this was based on a true life story(don't remember seeing that stated anywhere in the movie though).

This movie has sufficient humor to be a comedy, sufficient grief to be a tragedy and just enough love to be a romance that doesn't make you nauseous. There is only one truly over the top moment in the movie, but it's at the end. The biggest tragedy is this movie will only be in limited release at a few theatres just weeks before the DVD comes out.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2012
This movie caught me quite by surprise. I was thoroughly delighted with the acting of Kate Hudson (Marley Corbett) while looking for her to pull out her acting chops once again as I have seen her do before. In her engrossing portrayal of Penny Lane in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical account 'Almost Famous', Hudson shines as the brightest and most promising new star on the horizon. In this movie, she also is able to deliver on several levels and in diverse genres. She is not pigeonholed into being just a comedic actress. While there is the element of comedy also present, Hudson also pulls the tears and much drama.

Set in New Orleans, Marley is on top as an advertising executive and at the pinnacle of her career succeeding on her own terms. She is fulfilled through her high power status enjoying many gratifying friendships and is completely lovable as her story unfolds and develops.

Marley's most relevant friendship is with the wonderful Rosemarie DeWitt (Renee). Kathy Bates and Treat Williams portray her divorced parents. First completely self-absorbed, emotionally vacant and severely critical of Marley. One could easily respect her apprehension toward committed relationships with her bickering mother and father. As Beverly and Jack, they give a wonderful turn in their spot-on roles of her parents.

Marley begins to notice herself feeling drained, fatigued and being told she is losing weight. At her friends urging she visits Dr. Julian Goldstein, the superlative actor Gael Garcia Bernal in a different role for him. I enjoyed Bernal in this movie. He is charming through the dichotomy of feelings he starts having for Marley and is quite shy owning a sweet uncomfortable nature. After he relinquishes his position as her doctor, the two visit a jazz club in the French Quarter. Here we are treated to the music of local musician Ivan Neville (of the 'Neville Brothers') and his band. The two begin talking more while singer Macy Gray lends a lovely background song as the two inevitably fall in love.

Marley finally begins to resolve massive relationship issues with her parents and going forward to start relating to them as their daughter. Co-workers and her very important friends need attending to also, the priority being the emotionally distraught Renee. The two actresses share an intense scene at Renee's home that may draw tears as DeWitt punches it home.

There is an underlying subplot with this. For me, the movie would be better served by excluding it and taking it as the relationship driven movie it intends to be. It is a solid piece with or without it. The movie is a great view either way you see it while Hudson works through her little bit of heaven.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The reviews run from almost zero to stellar responses. some reviewers reference folks they know who have one form of cancer or another[all cancers are NOT the same!],and how the script doesn't accurately portray the real struggle[s] as they see it through the eyes of friends,etc. or from reading books, watching documentaries,etc. this is a movie, folks, and so saying Hollywood sold out is kinda surprising to me; i halfway anticipate a 'sell-out' anytime hollywood tackles subjects such as cancer..as a person living with two last-stage lymphomas, i could - if so desired - pick apart its fragmented nature, or the plot holes, or a number of other things, e.g., underdeveloped character. played by Gael Bernal Garcia, Treat Williams,etc. but that would be picking and missing the point - at least in the opinion of someone living with end-stage disease[s]. what i got from the movie, aside from ms. hudson's extraordinary performance, was that for some[?] or many[?] of us it often takes something, some kind of life shattering/life-threatening event to wake us up and out of our daily robotic way[s] of living and focus - perhaps for the first time ever - on what's REALLY important!! and it brilliantly shows the difficulties faced by the patient her or himself as to how to communicate with friends/family so as to not burden them while simultaneously informing them of your feelings, and also trying to care about their feelings too - which is an ENORMOUS undertaking....and unless one is a patient, you just ain't gonna get it....so the messages contained in this - yes - less than ideal movie - are critical and crucial IN EVERYONE'S LIFE, NOT JUST THOSE WITH LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS!!! WAKE UP - BEFORE IT WELL MIGHT BE TOO LATE!!!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Two young women - writer Gren Wells and director Nicole Kassell - make a solid impression with this little film that explores human relationships from family to friends to lovers in a manner that makes us look to either side of ourselves and appreciate what we have. Yes, it is a little bit of a fluff movie until the latter half, but it is populated with some very fine performances that make us appreciate that fine line between comedy and tragedy, realizing that the difference is all a matter of perspective.

Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a beautiful ad executive who collects one night stands lake a magnet - by her own choosing. She is afraid of commitment, perhaps reflecting her experience with her parents Beverly Corbett (Kathy Bates) and Jack Corbett (Treat Williams) - a couple who seem perennially at odds with each other and the world and maintain a distance form Marley. Marley has solid friendships: Sarah (Lucy Punch) tries to learn feminine wiles techniques from Marley, Renee (Rosemarie DeWitt) has Marley babysit her delightful child Cammie while she tends to mothering and wifeing with her husband (Jason Davis - she is again pregnant), her boss Rob (Steven Weber) and her gay next door neighbor Peter Cooper (Romany Malco). Marley sleeps with lots of attractive guys but when they begin to talk about longterm relationships, Marley backs off.

At the advertising agency Marley is asked if she is losing weight, a question that drives Marley to the doctor. Her new physician is Dr. Julian Goldstein (Gael García Bernal), a handsome but shy and dedicated young man who examines Marley and sedates her for colonoscopy: while Marley is under medication she dreams of being in heaven next to God (Whoopi Goldberg) who tells her she is dying and gives her three wishes - Marley chooses a million dollars, a chance to fly, and to find love. Upon awakening she is informed she has extensive colon cancer and Dr. Goldstein suggests she see a Dr. Sanders (Alan Dale) who offers her two choices - extensive chemotherapy or death. Marley chooses the former and from there she begins to alter her relationships with everyone around her. She gradually falls in love with Dr. Goldstein, confronts her parents and friends with her news, and the manner in which they accept her fate is where the film alters to a tender heart-warming gentle string of events that should be seen instead of read.

It is so rewarding to see Kate Hudson expand her acting talent into a serious role and she manages to find that perfect balance between the lighthearted personality we all recognize and the empathetic and vulnerable woman she becomes. Gael García Bernal assumes a new type of role and is completely charming and loveable. There is a fine cameo by Peter Dinklage - a Special Escort hired by neighbor Peter to give Marley `a little bit of heaven' - and Kathy Bates, Lucy Punch, and Romany Malco are particularly fine. This film will likely bring a few tears to the viewer's eyes, but those releases of emotion just make us feel better about life. Despite the few over the edge silly parts in the film this is a solid little gem that should find an appreciative audience when it reaches the theaters. Grady Harp, April 12
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
kate hudson is amazing in this story....such a beautiful movie. Funny as she usually is but with a different twist this time. Please take the time to watch this movie you will not regret it. Awesome cast
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
"I have cancer...who wants desert." Marley Corbett (Hudson) is a young and firey ad executive. She has everything going for her. Great friends and a personal life that she is OK with. After a visit to the doctor changes her life she decides that a change to her personal life is needed, fast. Without trying to give too much away I have to say the preview was misleading (to me anyway). I was expecting a comedy along the lines of "50/50". While this did have some funny moments in this it is much more of an emotional movie then I expected. I don't want you to misunderstand me on this because this was a very good movie and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but don't go in expecting to laugh as much as you did at "50/50". I would compare this more to the TV show "Big C". The movie is good and definately worth watching but this is more of a love story then I expected as well. Not to sound morbid, but I would call "50/50" more of a guy's cancer movie while this one is more of a chick flick. Both are good but I liked "50/50" more. Overall, funny and emotional and very much worth watching. I give it a B+.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
If you are looking for a good combination of laughter and real life human drama with the spice of true love this is the movie. A fenomenal cast, Gael Garcia is a perfect cast for it, his crying is so passionate and sincere. Kate Hudson is a spectacular romatic gender actress. It's a light and sensitive movie about what it takes to come to peace with yourself when your time is up.

Positively recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 22, 2013
Sometimes you just need a movie that you know will provide a big ol' weepfest.

This is by far Kate Hudson's best acting performance. It is, of course, a role served up to her on a platter - the kooky, beautiful, commitment phobic, dying young woman - but she excels, absolutely lighting up the screen in every scene. She inhabits the character of Marley so thoroughly, the viewer almost believes it could really happen this way. However, the plot contains a major flaw.

How does this very serious doctor who has no life suddenly determine that it is OK to have a personal relationship with a patient? And what happens to all his other patients, now that he is seemingly spending most of his time with Marley? In the real world, Julian's actions would constitute a serious breach of ethics. In the movie world, it is addressed by a single line of dialogue (which is subsequently disregarded). Granted, Marley's personal magnetism is considerable and the time left to spend with her is limited. However, Julian mentioned that he felt indebted to others for getting the job, and he basically lived at the hospital. The dramatic tension between his personal and professional obligations is completely missing and creates a huge void.

Then again, this is Movieland, and all of the actors are utterly charming. I love certain movies in spite of their flaws, usually because the performances are especially compelling and/or the dialogue is well above average. I watch those movies over and over, and eventually the flaws kind of disappear. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those movies for me. It has actually filled a void in my library - the guaranteed tearjerker that is somehow not depressing. Skeptics could have a field day with this one, but to me it's bulletproof.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2012
I am, most always, entertained by Kate Hudson's movies. She is a natural beauty.... and, her movies are clean, and romantic, and we can imagine the story lines happening to anyone in the real world!! This is another one of her movies, which tug at your heart, is entertaining, clean, and leaves you feeling bittersweet......
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Outstanding movie! Extremely predictable but VERY realistic.

Shows the sad status of our society and medical establishment. This is every day life around us.

Divorced parents, hates her dad. Gets cancer. Doctors give her poison to "treat" the tumor.

The so called specialist (oncologist) only knows poison (...chemo) to treat cancer, or more lethal poison (clinical trial that makes you really sick).

She is full of contradictions. While a vegetarian, when her mom asks her if she thought about finding another doctor that uses nutrition and non-toxic treatments she laughs at her (..."I don't want any of the healy feel thing mom"). This is the idea the average person has about alternative treatments. Because the important guy with the white coat that knows everything (...i.e. oncologists) told her that only chemo will save her life. However, she is a very smart college educated advertising executive. But she wouldn't try anything else. Not even out of curiosity (...at this point what does she has to lose? She is dying anyway) because when she was in college she probably avoided all science classes. There are so many NON-TOXIC treatments out there that REALLY WORK. Get informed people!

Selfish family entourage (except her mom). Her sister doesn't want to get involved because she is pregnant and her dad (who probably divorced her mom when she was in grade school) is busy traveling even when she is terminal (...call me if you need anything)

Great acting. Kate Hudson and Kathy Bates are FANTASTIC. The two doctors are really well portrayed in their ignorance and focus on chemotherapy. The only problem is Whoopi Goldberg. She is not really believable and she doesn't look comfortable in her role. Bad choice. I guess all other several hundreds actors that could play the same role in more credible way were not available.

Great movie, everybody needs to see it. Like looking in the mirror.

A touch of realism when going to the movies to escape every day life!
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