Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back Out to the Movies

It's been about a month since I've been out to see a movie. This has been entirely due to the poor quality of movies being released rather than a lack of time or interest. Partly out of this sort of boredom, when a friend called today and asked about seeing Ghost Town, I sort of figured "what the hell." It looked kind of schmaltzy, but also potentially funny.

Pleasantly, it turned out not to be too schmaltzy, and it was indeed pretty funny. Put simply, if you liked Ricky Gervais in The Office or Extras, you're going to like this movie. He's playing a similar kind of misanthrope, and uses his pitch perfect technique for saying the wrong things in hilarious ways. Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear are both decent, good but not extraordinary. The movie really does all hang on the fact that both of them play off Ricky Gervais well in the movie.

Cause let's face it, you're not there for the plot. Self-centered career-oriented character goes through a change that allows him/her to see ghosts, who are now after him/her to help resolve personal business from their former lives. I think three movies might have been made with this plot last year. But the truth is, this script does have a lot of funny moments, and it's amped even more by some apparent improvisations.

To its credit, the movie keeps the funny tone most of the time, never lingering on the sentimental for too long, and only completely giving into it at the very end, when necessary to resolve the story.

I'd rate it a B-. Walking out of it, I think I was inclined to be even a bit more generous that that, but I think I'll chalk that up to the dearth of good movies of late. Still, it would make for a pretty enjoyable rental for you in the future, I think.

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