By T. A. Moreland, HW Film Editor
Manhattan is full of them. People who go to great lengths to avoid interacting with others because they just don’t like people. Ghost Town tells the story of New York City Dr. Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) who is one of those kind. He’s a dentist and even in his job, he’ll do anything to avoid conversation with his patients and colleague.
During what was supposed to be a routine operation, Pincus dies and is revived. While he survives, he’s different. He can see ghosts! And they are thrilled to have a connection to the living world and inundate him with requests to help them settle unresolved issues with living friends and relatives. The most persistent is Frank Herlily (Greg Kinnear) who wants Pincus’ to stop Herlily’s former wife (Tea Leoni) from remarrying. Hoping to end the persistent badgering, Pincus agrees to assist Herlily. But Pincus’ emotions get in the way and he soon has his own motives for disrupting the marriage.
Ghost Town is an exceedingly unexceptional film. It’s amusing and definitely has its moments but that can be said about many movies. While Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear are perfectly cast as a chic Manhattan professionals, the chubby, aging, Ricky Gervais works as a mean spirited dentist but not as a romantic lead. Movies like Ghost Town are where short fat guys get the idea that they can have tall, beautiful, younger women.
And how many times in movies and on TV have we seen where the mispronunciation of a character’s name is used a petty little joke. Too many. Here Herlily repeatedly refers to Dr. Pincus as Pink Ass.
Ghost Town does have some great scenes of autumn of New York City. But of course that’s not enough to save this movie.
Ghost Town is 1 hour and 42 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual humor and drug references.
It’s light entertainment, average entertainment and gets a Rent It rating.