Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Night Magical Movie: Ghost Town

In spite of what should be a stressful day, I'm feeling a bit silly.  Ahh, a magical comedy!  Ghost Town really surprised me, and was much better (and funnier) than I expected it to be.  Ricky Gervais plays Bertram Pincus, a dentist who has terrible social skills finds himself having some strange experiences after what was meant to be a routine colonoscopy.  Not your typical Romantic Comedy.  It turns out that he died during the procedure for 7 minutes, and now he can see dead people, ghosts, everywhere, which irritates him to no end.  They all begin to follow him all over the place asking for help with their unfinished business.  

This disturbs Pincus terribly, he's not really fond of the living, the dead seem much more annoying. The pushiest of the Ghosts of New York ghosts he meets is Frank (Greg Kinnear) who died in his tux, and keeps trying to get a signal on his phone.  He persuades the reluctant Dr. Pincus to help him convince his widow that her new guy is no good in exchange for keeping the other ghosts at bay.

Tea Leoni plays Gwen, Franks lovely and clever ex, who is also an archaeologist, and when she asks the awkward Pincus to examine her mummies teeth, they surprisingly begin to hit it off.  this is where things get complicated. 

Gervais may be an unexpected romantic lead, but he pulls it off with awkward charm, and brings an inner warmth to the outwardly unfriendly dentist.  He's a very complex character and you find yourself laughing at his nastiness yet routing for him at the same time.  Greg Kinnear plays it perfectly, selling what he wants yet somehow charming.  There are so many hysterical moments in this film, the dialog is very clever and the circumstances seem to just flow naturally.  The chemistry between Gervais and Kinnear really works, I would love to see them team up in a film again in the future.  Gervais brings something of his character from HBO's Extras, which I was hooked on.  He's very good as the guy who always seems to end up in an awkward situation. 

Various needy spirits trying to enlist help from Pincus
When the nurse in the hospital says, "Come back soon."  as Pincus is leaving he retorts, "What a terrible thing to say in a hospital!"
The film actually while being funny and clever, also offers some subtle spiritual lessons about human kindness and manages to do it in a non preachy way.  Through much of the film, we were laughing out loud, we thoroughly enjoyed it, and in the end it left us feeling happy.

Happy Monday!   

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