Just Like Heaven (2005) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A lonely landscape architect falls for the spirit of the beautiful woman who used to live in his new apartment.

  • Elizabeth Masterson, a dedicated doctor in San Francisco, had almost no time for anything. When she gets into a tragic car crash and goes into a coma, a landscape architect moves into Elizabeth's apartment for rent - where he meets her amnesiac ethereal form.

  • Elizabeth works too much to have time for a boyfriend, but that doesn't stop her sister setting her up on a blind date. On the way home she gets into an accident and goes into a three month coma. While she is in the coma her apartment becomes available for sublet. A landscaper, David, who has lost his wife and basically drinks himself to sleep moves into Elizabeth's apartment. At first David believes she is a hallucination but as time goes on they realize the truth. Only David can see and hear Elizabeth. Eventually they fall for each other but things take a turn for the worse when the hospital and Elizabeth's sister follow her wishes to not artificially prolong life and take her off life support.

  • Elizabeth Masterson is a dedicated, workaholic doctor who is way to busy for a life. One night, she gets into a horrible car accident and becomes a spirit stuck between heaven and earth. She doesn't know she's dead and thinks nothing has happened until she meets David Abbot, a lonely architect, who rents her old apartment. David thinks he's crazy by seeing Elizabeth's spirit and tries all ways to get rid of her, but she just won't go away. Although the two are complete opposites they somehow may just form a relationship.

  • Elizabeth Masterson is a doctor with a life of work, devoid of joy. But when an accident renders her into a spirit, Elizabeth may be forced to live something she has avoided: downtime. However, with her no longer occupying her apartment, it's been given to David Abbott, a good guy but a lonely landscape artist who has caught the ire of Elizabeth. She haunts him as a bitter spirit. She's not willing to give up her place to David, and he's not going to back down from his new home. But as these two continually fight, they might just be attracted to each other.

  • The workaholic Dr. Elizabeth Masterson has a car accident after twenty-six hours working in a hospital. Three months later, the landscape architect David Abbott is recovering from the loss of his wife, and rents her apartment with furniture in San Francisco. While living in the place, the spirit of Elizabeth, that only he is able to see, visits and argues with him, but later they fall in love for each other. David tries to find who Elizabeth was, and is surprised with his discovering.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The first scene of Dr. Elizabeth Masterson (Witherspoon) as she sits in a pleasant looking garden surrounded by fog. The camera pans in around the fog and finally to her chair that is completely out of place in the elegant setting. Elizabeth wakes up in a hospital break room/cafeteria where she is told that she fell asleep and needs to go home because she has been there 23 hours. She replies that she can't because she needs to keep working if she wants to get the attending physician slot.

    It then shows a montage of her working around the hospital. She is obviously good at her job and good with the people she attends. During this time we meet her rival at work, Brett, and learn that they are competing for the attending physician slot. We also learn that her sister is expecting her over for dinner and that dinner was set up for her to meet someone. Once she's off the phone, her and Brett run into their boss, Dr. Walsh. Dr. Walsh informs them that there was a gun shot victim whom they both volunteer to take but since Brett has "only" been there 12 hours that he'll get to get it. After Brett leaves, Dr. Walsh informs Elizabeth that because of her skilled work and genuine care for the patients, she will get the attending physician slot. He then tells her that 26 hours is enough and that she needs to go home.

    As she is leaving, she sees Brett in the parking lot and there is a good deal of tension between them as he reluctantly congratulates Elizabeth on her being picked for the job. While on her way over to her sister's house for the dinner, she calls her sister to apologize for running late. Her sister, Abby, says it's ok because her date hasn't shown up yet. Just then, she sees a truck coming towards her and the screen fades to black.

    Cut to David Abbot (Ruffalo) as he is searching for a fully furnished apartment to lease. His realtor is pushing and keeps showing him very odd apartments. As they are just about to give up, wind pushes a flier into his face about an apartment they hadn't seen yet. They go to it and learn that it is a nice apartment but is still on the market because it is being leased on a month-by-month basis due to some mysterious circumstances. David decides its perfect anyways.

    We now see David sitting around and drinking beer. He doesn't seem to be doing anything else with his days. One day while watching TV, Elizabeth shows up and tells David to leave her apartment. They argue and Elizabeth goes to call the police. David follows her into the next room but when he gets there, she has disappeared.

    David goes and sees his friend, John, who is also his shrink because he believes he is hallucinating. John tells him that he just needs to get out and that these hallucinations will go away.

    David decides not to go out and instead to continue to be lazy and drink beer. He also sees Elizabeth a couple more times and begins to think that she may be the ghost of someone who used to live there. He goes to an occult bookstore where he meets Darryl, Heder (Napoleon form Napoleon Dynamite). Darryl gives him some books to read and David goes home to confront Elizabeth.

    After not being able to convince Elizabeth that she is a ghost and Elizabeth trying to annoy David to the point he'll leave, David hires some people to get ride of the spirit. First is a priest, then some Asian women performing a ceremony, then some tacky "Ghostbusters" and finally Darryl. Darryl says that he can feel Elizabeth and is so strong a spirit that she may not be dead. Darryl also tells David that he needs to let go of the spirit that's hunting him, his wife who passed away.

    Darryl leaves and Elizabeth presses David about his wife. Apparently, it has been two years since she died and David is still having trouble moving on. David is upset by the conversation and decides to go get drunk with his friend John. Elizabeth follows and forces him out of the bar he went to by possessing him. She then says she needs help finding out what happened to her because she can't remember and David says he will help because otherwise he would be admitting that he was talking to someone that wasn't there and therefore insane.

    They start by going to all the neighbors and asking about Elizabeth. None of them really knew her but one girl begins hitting on David. They follow some other clues and find out that Elizabeth is in a coma in the hospital where she worked. Also during this time, David explains that he was once a successful architect who specialized in gardens and they go to see some of his work. The garden they end up at is the one that Elizabeth was dreaming about in the beginning of the movie.

    After they find Elizabeth's body, David goes home and Elizabeth decides to stay with it. With being about to walk through walls, Elizabeth checks in on some of her friends and finds that Brett, her rival from the beginning of the movie, got the attending physician slot. Abby, Elizabeth's sister, comes in to visit and learns that Elizabeth had a living will but the decision to let her die will be left up to her.

    Elizabeth rushes back to the apartment to find that the neighbor girl is there and putting the moves on David. The neighbor girl goes into the bedroom and asks David to come in. Elizabeth is a bit dejected and goes to wait on the roof until David is done. David shows up on the roof and said that he sent the neighbor girl home. Elizabeth then tells David that she originally got the apartment so she could put a garden on the roof. David says that he won't let Elizabeth die.

    They first go talk to Darryl who tells them not to try to figure out how to put Elizabeth back in her body but why only David can see her. They then go over to Abby's house to convince her not to sign the paper work, but she already has and ends up chasing David out with a butcher knife when he says he can see Elizabeth's spirit. Knowing that Elizabeth is going die in the morning, Elizabeth asks David to just stay up and talk with her. In the morning, David says that he will steal Elizabeth's body so that they can put it somewhere safe because he won't let her die. Elizabeth says that in order to even have a chance to do that, they need someone with a van and no morals.

    Enter David driving John's van while they are going to the hospital. Once there, David explains that his imaginary friend is actually alive and is able to convince John of this because John knows Abby. In fact, David was suppose to be the blind date at dinner Elizabeth was going to but David got cold feet and Elizabeth got in a car accident.

    As John and David are stealing Elizabeth's body, Brett stops them. David ends up punching Brett out and getting security called on him. While John and David are fleeing security, the respirator keeping Elizabeth alive gets pulled out and she starts to die and her spirit starts to fade. As a last effort, David kisses Elizabeth, which brings her spirit back but is quickly pulled off by security. Elizabeth's spirit fades as David watches. Then, her body comes back to life and she wakes up. Seeing David was able to bring Elizabeth back to life, they let him go. But Elizabeth doesn't remember David. David leaves looking very depressed.

    Enter another montage where both Elizabeth and David look sad. When the montage ends, Elizabeth is moving back into her apartment, which David had to leave because he only had it on a month-to-month basis. She says that it feels like something is missing but can't figure out what. While looking around, Elizabeth goes up to the roof where David is just finishing up her garden. David says that he just wanted her to have her garden and that he used the spare key that she had told him about when she was a "ghost". Elizabeth says she knows him but can't remember from where. David says he doesn't want to scare her and begins to leave but stops to give the spare key to her. When they touch, Elizabeth remembers everything and they kiss.

    The camera pans up and the apartment turns into a snow globe in Darryl's hands who says, "Righteous."

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