By Jack Rico
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference.
Release Date: 2009-05-01
Starring: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Official Website: http://www.ghostsofgirlfriendspastmovie.com/
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‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore somehow manage to salvage the film by developing two well written romantic moments into the overdone cornball premise. The film doesn’t work as a comedy, but it gets the job done in the romance department.
Celebrity photographer Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) is a free loving bachelor who is the ultimate ‘playa’. Unfortunately, his childhood friend Jenny (Jennifer Garner) is the one woman in his life who has always seemed immune to his considerable charm. It all comes to a climax when three ghosts, yes a la Dickens, take him on a revealing odyssey through a lifetime of failed relationships. The purpose of this exam is to get him to redeem himself in front of his one true love – Jenny.
There is no doubts about this film being targeted to female viewers, Unfortunately, they’ll have to deal with some negatives. Most of the damage of the film exists in its overused storyline – Charles Dickens’ ‘The Christmas Carol’. That on its own should scare most moviegoers away. Adding to the barrage of detriments is the myriad of lame and unamusing gags that never go over. I don’t really remember laughing once. But halfway through the film, when Michael Douglas appears as Uncle Wayne, is when we finally experience the first engaging moment. Douglas’s detailed in-depth tutorial on picking up women to a young Connor possesses a real candor absent from similar movies of the genre. I’m sure female viewers will find it amusing if not absurd. We once again are treated to another memorable moment at the film’s climax when McConaughey himself dishes out some love wisdom of his own. These scenes mixed in with a gooey score and sufficient teary close ups will debilitate even some of the most stoic of men.
Apart from those likable sequences, the supporting cast is simply irrelevant and insipid. Their charms and levels of interest are nonexistent. Futhermore, McConaughey’s performance matches those of his previous uninspired works (Fools Gold, Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner). Nevertheless, if you can get past the Dickens homage, ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ is better than most romantic fare out in theaters right now. Female viewers will enjoy a good insight into the male psyche and have a chance to see a man go from player to prince. Isn’t that what all women want?