Ghost Town

  • Year:2008
  • Rating:M
  • Director:David Koepp
  • Cast:Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni, Aasif Mandvi
  • Release Date:February 12, 2009
  • Distributor:Paramount
  • Running time:102 minutes
  • Film Worth:$12.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…solidly acerbic entertainment.”

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Dr. Bernard Pincus (Ricky Gervais) is not a people person. Not by a long shot. He's a discourteous dentist whose life is devoid of social interactions - friendships would only require him to utilise pesky emotions such as empathy or joy. After a standard hospital procedure leaves him dead for seven minutes, Bernard wakes up to discover that he can now see and interact with dead people. A whole city of them in fact, all stuck with their own unfinished business, and all of whom want his help.  

Unfortunately, Bernard can't shut them out the way that he does the living - dead people can just walk straight through the door. Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) is a persistent cad who wants Bernard to break up his widow Gwen's (Tea Leoni) pending nuptials. Jealousy obviously carries over into the grave; the fact that Frank had a long-term mistress seems to have been waylaid in the ether. Bernard agrees on the proviso that Frank will call off the rest of the dead gang, who have taken to following him around en masse.

This being a romantic comedy, Bernard quickly falls for Gwen, who in return despises him. Cue a series of bumbling, awkward, incredibly funny interactions where Bernard tries to woo her. Gervais' comedic timing is impeccable, and despite undertones of David Brent (his career-making character in The Office), he makes for a thoroughly watchable romantic lead. The film is surprisingly tender in parts - surprising because it's so good as a comedy that you don't expect it to also deliver on the drama front. In different hands, this could have been forgettably saccharine fare, but Gervais' genius and an excellent cast of bit players turn it into solidly acerbic entertainment.

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