Ghost Town

Movies, Comedy
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Here comes Mr. Jordan, always. Ricky Gervais does what he can to make a shopworn premise likable, but blockbuster screenwriter David Koepp—who demonstrated a deft genre hand as the director of Stir of Echoes—can’t do much to enliven this romantic-comedy-as-self-help-guide. Gervais plays Bertram Pincus, a cartoonishly misanthropic dentist who, after dying for a few minutes under anesthesia, gains the ability to see ghosts. They all want Bertram to do them favors—none more so than Frank (Kinnear), a former high-rolling, adulterous asshole who narrowly avoids being squashed by a falling air conditioner, only to get hit by a bus a second later. Frank promises to hold New York’s ghosts at bay if Bertram can prevent his widow (Leoni) from remarrying.

That Gervais and Leoni’s characters should fall for each other is both unlikely and unimaginative, and a novel choice of professions notwithstanding—she’s an archaeologist at the Met—what we have here is a movie that forces its star to do all the heavy lifting. (The film’s idea of humor is to have Gervais wear his dentist’s uniform outside the office.) Apart from amusing supporting turns by Kristen Wiig and Aasif Mandvi, Ghost Town might well refer to the movie’s ideas.



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 19 2008
103 mins

Cast and crew

David Koepp
David Koepp, John Kamps
Ricky Gervais
Téa Leoni
Greg Kinnear
Aasif Mandvi
Kristen Wiig

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