Thanks to having two lovely movie-watching women in my life, my wife and daughter, I’ve developed a keen interest in the romantic comedy genre. True, it began as a typical guy thing while renting VHS movies several years back, “Look son, we’ll get “Kate & Leupold” for your mom and sister, so we can watch “The Highlander” for the sixty third time.” What began as a semi thoughtful gesture instead served to set precedent that for every “guy” movie brought into the home, there must be a “gal” movie to accompany it. Ever notice how all women have an inner lawyer? For years now, I’ve been force fed a diet of romantic comedy, much like a baby being introduced to peas, again and again and again. And like that baby, I’ve developed a taste for the new stuff. I’ve come to appreciate Meg Ryan, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as very few men can, with the exceptions being their husbands and/or boyfriends of the moment. That said, none of the aforementioned females appear in this movie, but don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed. This is a good movie.
If you’re looking for a good DVD for a quiet evening and a few honest laughs, and points with the females in your life, check out Ghost Town at your entertainment outlet of choice. Ghost Town stars Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pinkus. A dentist who projects a delightfully antisocial outlook, Pinkus is the stereotypical loner. He has absolutely no interest in other people. He avoids social functions as simple as sharing cake and well wishes with coworkers and even disdains conversations with his own patients. Little does Pinkus know that he’s about to become conversant (very much against his will) with almost every ghost in Manhattan.
The movie opens with a cheating husband (Greg Kinnear) having a frantic phone conversation with his wife (portrayed by T’ea Leoni) about a love nest he was in the process of buying. Unfortunately for T’ea, the house was meant for Greg and his yoga-loving mistress! I won’t spoil the opening moments for you, but with this movie, settle in quickly, listen carefully to the dialog and don’t take your eyes off the screen. Notice especially when anyone sneezes. You’ll know why I mentioned this before the end of the movie.
Back to Pinkus. The scenes depicting his preparation for a colonoscopy are funny, but the conversation with the admissions nurse is hilarious. Pinkus’ reply to the ever invasive questioning is something all hospital patients have dreamed of at one weary waiting room or another. Sad to say, the depicted conversations of the doctors and nursing personnel are very realistic these days, as too many medical folk tend to speak (about things best left undiscussed around patients) repeatedly and sometimes ad nauseaum. Doctors and nurses, please don’t write to tell me better, I’ve been in too many hospital waiting rooms to be told otherwise. Take a clue and be more discreet. You’ll live longer.
As things so often do in the world of movies, something goes wrong. Upon being discharged from the procedure, Pinkus begins to notice people reacting strangely to his presence. A nurse to whom he speaks, rather uncharacteristically, in passing begins to follow him, as do an elderly couple, a police officer, and some construction workers. In moments, Pinkus is being vigorously pursued by a host of people. The good dentist manages to give the crowd the slip, but his troubles and this delightful romantic comedy are just beginning.
A rather one sided consultation with his doctor leads Pinkus to discover that he “died” during his colonscopy. For unknown reasons, this left him with the ability to communicate with the dead. Considering Pinkus’ comic aversion to talking with live people, you can imagine his distaste for speaking with dead folk. Don’t imagine it though, go get the DVD and see for yourself.