A successful young New Orleans ad exec living a no-frills, booty-on-call, single-by-choice lifestyle, Marley Corbett has a sunny irreverence and Teflon resistance to emotional attachment that leaves her happily impervious to just about everything, even when, one fine day, she’s diagnosed with colon cancer. Marley begins by treating the diagnosis as good material for “pain in the ass” jokes—which is, unfortunately, about the best that screenwriter Gren Wells has done for star Kate Hudson, who’s left to coast on her usual winsome nose-wrinkling charm until the progress of the illness gradually breaks down Marley and her defenses, allowing her to become truly intimate with her doctor, played by that well-formed manikin, Gael García Bernal. Essentially a rom-com deathwatch, A Little Bit of Heaven demands miracles of its cast to keep proceedings from becoming grindingly mawkish and does not get them, as Marley goes about making her amends to parents (Kathy Bates and Treat Williams, very clutch in his one scene) and friends. A beatifically smiling Whoopi Goldberg shows up briefly in the role of God, which should be a blazing red flag, while the film’s reassuring nondenominational concept of the afterlife, expressed by a cameo-ing Peter Dinklage, is a long, warm soak—exactly what A Little Bit of Heaven amounts to.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2012