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Each week, PS News’s film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: David Koepp, Dreamworks, Rated M, 102 Minutes
David Koepp’s new film Ghost Town is a romantic comedy which revolves around a socially awkward and obnoxious dentist named Bertram Pincus (played by TV comedian Ricky Gervais), who after a medical procedure can see ghosts.
One such annoying ghost is Frank (As Good as it Gets star Greg Kinnear), a former philandering playboy.
Frank pesters Bertram into intervening on his behalf to get his widow, Gwen (played wonderfully by Tea Leoni, star of The Family Man) to break up with her untrustworthy fiancé, who Frank thinks is only after her money.
Frank is there to coach Bertram along, but ultimately in order to gain Gwen’s affections, Bertram needs to shed his unlikeable persona and become a more caring person.
Bertram concedes, and in the process finds himself actually falling for Gwen and is gradually transformed into becoming a more compassionate person- even agreeing to help the other ghosts harassing him by attending to their outstanding affairs that were suddenly disrupted by their deaths.
Despite this film being Koepp’s first venture into writing and directing a comedy (he earlier directed ghostly thrillers such as Stir of Echoes), he does a decent job of pacing the film, with numerous laughs and adding emotional punches when required.
Of course, it is Koepp’s casting of Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear, together with Ricky Gervais (in his first starring role) as the three leading characters that really makes this an enjoyable movie.
Gervais’ dry humour is particularly appropriate, and fits well with his overall character - especially when he is required to display a serious demeanour.
Aside from Gervais, the other character who really stands out is Leoni as Gwen.
Her performance is just a delight to watch and she lights up the screen, particularly during some of the comical interactions with Bertram causing her to break into laughter-along with the audience.
As a comedy, Ghost Town has a feel-good yet funny script, a stellar cast, and is an entertaining movie experience.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamps