Ghost Town (2008)
Directed by David Koepp
Written by David Koepp, John Kamps
Starring Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Teal Leoni
Synopsis: Super prick dentist dude has major ass problems and goes in for a scope. But since he's such a jackass he demands that they put him under and he's dead on the table for seven minutes. Upon his return, he sees dead people and they all ask him to do shit which from his point of view is really retarded. Greg Kinnear somehow has control over everyone else and bargains with him that they'll all leave poor Ricky alone if he'll just help Greg break his wife up from Steven Carrington's ex-boyfriend. He falls in love with the wife and it's mutual and then his knowledge of her becomes creepy, so he has to redeem himself six ways from Sunday. (spoiler alert!) the end.
this was funny. this is what simon pegg should take note on, and think to himself 'that's how you do a romantic comedy crossover'! the funny thing actually made me ignore the formula, of which there was plenty. in fact, we actually could not remember the last movie we watched from netflix that made us laugh so much. of course, it's all gervais' shtick which i suppose makes the movie. eh. i don't want to ruin it for myself by thinking too hard about it. maybe because he stayed true to his comedy? stop thinking about it, lady! funny movie. i would recommend. yeah. don;t think about it! just enjoy.
I was going to do this extended formula joke for the synopsis, but A) it wouldn't have been funny to anybody but me and maybe two other people (one of whom might actually read this); and B) it wouldn't do justice to the film.
This movie was far better than it had any right to be. It was both a comedy and a romance. Most of the standard tropes were either diffused or actively mocked; and even the ones that played out the way they had to did so in an entertaining way. I totally fell for its crap (i.e. I pre-cried) in all the right places, and we both laughed a LOT.
I'm not going to glow about the whole thing, only most of it. Ricky Gervais was certainly not as seasoned as the others--and watching the extras we learned that it was quite difficult for him to hold his shit together to deliver most of the funniest lines--but he brought the funny and pretty much everything else followed suit. The rest of the lead and supporting players were adequate or better: Greg Kinnear had great timing, and Tea Leoni did a good job as well. People such as Captain Camereon of the Starship 20 Minutes performed their bit parts well, and Aziz Ansari stood out as Gervais's co-dentist.
This movie was actually directed. In this way as well, the movie was not by the book. Cameras moved and zoomed and made me turn my head. Set in New York City, production and production value were pleasant and seamless. The editing was totally transparent, but not necessarily super stand-out; and the effect of the ghosts going through people was just fine.
This is the funniest movie we've seen in a LONG time. It totally threw me for a loop; I didn't expect it to be nearly this good.