Several years ago I asked for the movie Just Like Heaven on DVD for Christmas because I loved the fabulous wood-paneled San Francisco apartment in it! Based on the number of requests I’ve gotten from readers to see it, I wasn’t alone, so I thought we’d take a closer look at it.
Reese Witherspoon played Elizabeth, a hard-working doctor who doesn’t have much of a personal life. She does, however, own an apartment in this Victorian Russian Hill building with killer views of the city from every room…
After she’s in a terrible car crash, a landscape architect named David (Mark Ruffalo) rents her place. There’s a catch, though: her spirit is still living there, and she wants him out.
Leslie Dixon, a San Francisco native who co-wrote the film, used to live in this apartment building. They actually only shot 10 days in San Francisco The interiors of the dream apartment were built entirely on a soundstage.
As Mark Ruffalo talks about filming the movie for the DVD’s special features, you can see the outside of one of the windows on set:
Here’s how it looked when they filmed Reese’s character through that window:
The hallway is beautiful but looks a little spooky in this shot…almost like it belongs to the house in “American Horror Story.”
The movie is based on a novel called If Only It Were True by the French author Marc Levy.
This round windowseat with the fabulous view is one of the best features of the apartment–love it:
As Elizabeth is arguing that she’s not a ghost, she looks down and realizes she has wandered into the center of the dining room table…
The bedroom has more great woodwork and another round window big enough to fit the bed in:
David starts wearing boxer shorts to shower in, since he never knows when Elizabeth might make a surprise appearance…
Jon Heder plays Darryl, the psychic who is confounded by how “alive” the spirit seems to be.
Production Design was done by Cary White, and Set Decoration by Barbara Haberecht.
Up on the Roof:
According to the DVD commentary, the apartment’s rooftop was built on a soundstage. They used CGI for the San Francisco skyline. Here’s a behind-the scenes photo taken of the set:
SFGate reports, “The sweeping vista was filmed from the deck of a slightly more elevated apartment one block away on Russian Hill at Taylor and Green, according to location manager Rory Enke.”
“From this place, you could see the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Transamerica — you kind of get your highlight reel of San Francisco from that rooftop,” director Mark Waters says.
David, who is a landscape architect, created a heavenly rooftop garden for Elizabeth before leaving.
I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t seen it, but it was kind of a surprise. Did you see it coming?
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