Here is the latest film review from the column Cathy and I write for her parish magazine “Inside Story”.
Cathy: Ghost Town is a lighthearted romantic comedy. Ricky Gervais plays Bertram Pincus, an antisocial dentist who, after a near-death experience in surgery, starts seeing ghosts. The ghosts want Pincus’ help in resolving their unfinished business so that may be set free. Frank (Greg Kinnear) a suave and charming adulterer is keen for Pincus help with his widow whom he believes is in danger of marrying a man who is after her money. Enter the love interest: Tea Leoni playing Gwen. Due to Frank’s annoying persistence Pincus reluctantly agrees to help and becomes attracted to Gwen.
David: Right from the start, I think the real appeal of this film is seeing British comedian Gervais in an American context. Those who know him from “The Office” and “Extras” know that he has an idiosyncratic style which doesn’t quite lend itself to this American genre. And as romantic comedies go, this one is fairly standard. But it comes off and in fact excels because the writers allowed plenty of scope for Gervais to employ his own particular sort of dialogue and the other actors seem happy to go with the flow.
Cathy: There was quite a bit of qwirky humour in the film, which I really enjoyed. Some of it was visual, like the scene of Pincus gagging at the dog’s bad breath, some of it was the witty verbal interplay.
David: Like the banter between Pincus and his doctor on the way into surgery. Actually, for a bit part, the surgeon was quite good, and certainly gave Gervais a run for his money as far as the dialogue went. I enjoyed every scene she appeared in.
Cathy: Actually I thought there was a good supporting cast. And lovely cinematography with some beautiful views of New York.
David: There isn’t really a lot else to say about this film – except perhaps that it might make us ask what motivates us to help others. Pincus starts off helping because he sees something in it for himself, but in the end learns to see that others have genuine needs that only he can fulfill.
Cathy: Not particularly outstanding, but quite enjoyable. I’m giving it three stars.
David: Yes, it is good to see a romantic comedy that is actually a comedy for a change and not just a romance. I agree. Three stars – with one of those just for Gervais.