½* (out of four)
“Roses are red, violets are blue. I’ve got ass cancer, now you know too.”
After lying for a while and claiming to have mono, New Orleans advertising exec Marley (
Perhaps “A Little Bit of Heaven” means to test our capacity for sympathy as we watch a self-involved person struggle with mortality. No, that’s not it. This movie—from a writer who received special thanks for the year’s worst movie so far (“L!fe Happens”) and whose only previous writing experience listed on IMDB is uncredited work on the 2001 “MTV Movie Awards”—focuses on a character who makes a joke out of everything and proceeds to make a mockery out of serious illness. Sending Marley an escort who is a little person (Peter Dinklage) for comic effect represents a major foul; the guy saying people call him “a little bit of heaven” is hitting the ball backwards out of the stadium. By the way: Scenes in which two people yell and pound on a door/bedframe/whatever and pretend to have sex have to stop. It’s been done. Enough.
The half-star comes for the warm supporting performances of Rosemarie DeWitt and Romany Malco, doing the best he can as the token gay, black friend. They join the rest of the surrounding cast in out-acting Hudson, whose constant self-congratulation confirms her as the future
I love a great love story. I absolutely loathe the phony ones, and the relationship between Marley and Dr. Goldstein, who’s supposedly forbidden from seeing patients and receives no consequences for breaking the rule, turns what’s meant to be a life-affirming connection into a depressing, only-in-the-movies crock. It would be awesome to see a
½* (out of four)