A Little Bit of Heaven (2011 film)

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A Little Bit of Heaven
A Little Bit of Heaven poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNicole Kassell
Written byGren Wells
Produced by
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byStephen A. Rotter
Music byHeitor Pereira
Distributed byMillennium Entertainment
Release date
  • February 4, 2011 (2011-02-04) (United Kingdom)
  • May 4, 2012 (2012-05-04) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20.6 million[1]
Box office$1.1 million[2]

A Little Bit of Heaven (formerly titled Earthbound) is a 2011 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nicole Kassell, and starring Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal.[3]


Marley Corbett is a quick-witted, carefree ad executive living in New Orleans, who embraces her easy going attitude, shuns any major responsibilities, and gains support and strength from a close circle of friends. She also enjoys casual dating and refuses to fall in love.

Marley's close friend notices that she looks drained. After an appointment, Marley is told by Dr. Julian Goldstein that she has terminal cancer. He is deeply impressed by the way Marley accepts the news with humour and dignity. While under anesthetic, God appears to Marley in heaven and asks her to make three wishes. She chooses to fly, to win a million dollars (not tax free), and a third that is later revealed.

Marley must now break the news to her friends and parents (who are divorced and haven't spoken in years). Her mother is persistent and overbearing, and instantly begins to smother Marley by visiting too often and making her meals to keep her strength up. Marley's father is the opposite; distant and reserved, and doesn't seem bothered with reconnecting with Marley with the time she has left.

While driving through town one morning, Marley and her friend Sarah decide to take part in a radio call game where the 97th caller wins a prize. They get through and Marley is told she's won flying lessons - her first wish granted. It is revealed that her other friend Renee is pregnant with her second child. This makes Marley question her life of promiscuity and carelessness.

As the weeks go by, Marley's health starts to deteriorate and she visits her doctor Julian more and more. One night, they see each other at a band night at their local bar and decide to spend the rest of the night by going on a date. They start to develop feelings for one another.

Marley tells her boss about the cancer and he asks her about her life insurance plans, since their company has a policy that anybody who has a life-threatening illness can cash out, gaining a million dollars ($500,000 dollars after tax) instantly - her second wish.

One of Marley's friends notices she is getting worse. He hires a stripper, who is a little person, to meet with Marley at her apartment. Marley denies the stripper and explains her sickness to him, then decides to let him stay. As they hang out and talk about her cancer, he tells her that he has died before. He explains that dying was like floating and that he never wanted to leave. This helps Marley come to terms with her illness and death.

After another date, Marley and Julian sleep together and begin a relationship. However, she soon starts to feel dismayed when she comes to the realization that they won't have a future together, and flees quickly one morning before he wakes. That afternoon, they argue in the park and Marley breaks it off. She becomes distant from and jealous of her friends who are all going through positive life changes. After a bike accident, Marley visits heaven for a second time. God makes her realize that she needs to cherish what she has while she's still alive and, for the first time, Marley admits to being in love. Later that day, she visits Julian to rekindle their relationship, apologizes to the friends she has pushed away and even makes peace with her father.

At home over the following weeks, Marley is able to do nothing but lie in bed, and starts focusing on all of the things she is going to miss. She writes cards for special occasions she won't be around for in the future and writes letters to her loved ones, giving them all to her mother for her to give out at the right times.

One morning, Marley and Sarah sit in the park. Marley confesses to Sarah that she is no longer afraid to die, even though Sarah is terrified at the prospect of having to live without her. Marley drifts off and Sarah is unable to wake her. Knowing it's almost time, Marley is visited by everyone in the hospital who surround her bed and wait with her until the end. The exception is Renee, who is in labor with her son. Julian makes it in the nick of time to say goodbye and, in that final moment, Marley realizes her third wish was to fall in love. The film ends with Marley's funeral, a colorful celebration of her life with all of her friends and family.



On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 4% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 2.82/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "A Little Bit of Heaven subjects viewers to a whole bunch of schmaltz - and strands Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal in a fatally misguided film."[4] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 14 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "universal dislike".[5]


  1. ^ "Fastlane NextGen: Initial Certification Search" (Type "Earthbound" in the search box). Louisiana Economic Development. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "A Little Bit of Heaven (2012) - Financial Information".
  3. ^ "A Little Bit of Heaven". The Film Department. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  4. ^ "A Little Bit of Heaven". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ "A Little Bit of Heaven". Metacritic.

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