Monday, May 4, 2009

Review: Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past

Grade: C-

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a very interesting and different telling of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” about a man, Connor Mead, who is a photographer and more than a bit of a playboy, who goes to his younger brother’s wedding at his uncle’s estate. While there he plans to get with all of the brides maids and pretty much as many women as possible. He doesn’t believe in love or marriage and tends to offend many people, including the bride, while he’s there. At one point the ghost of his uncle Wayne shows up to tell him he is leading a life of emptiness and hopelessness and tells him he will be visited by three ghosts throughout the night. These ghosts show up to try to change him and make him realize who he is supposed to be with.

This movie played out pretty much just how I thought it would. The first 20 minutes to a half hour, maybe a little longer, was actually pretty good and pretty funny, but everything after that was just bad. Mathew McConaughey (Dazed and Confused, Fool’s Gold) plays Connor Mead. He does a good job at being a womanizing jerk but McConaughey just is not a good actor at all, and it really shows in this as he plays the same character he plays in 90% of his movies. Jennifer Garner (Juno, 13 Going on 30) plays Jenny Perotti, the girl that Connor has known since they were 5 and the obvious love interest for Connor as well. She almost seemed out of place in this movie. I know she is supposed to be the serious girl who Connor falls in love with but she’s the Maid of Honor at her friend’s wedding. The bride and all the other bride’s maids are giggly, drinking, slutty girls while she is this super serious, almost never smiles woman. Again, Jennifer Gardner just can’t really act to well and played the same character I’ve seen in pretty much every one of her movies.

The supporting cast in this movie was actually much better than the two stars. Breckin Meyer (Rat Race, Road Trip) played McConaughey’s sentimental younger brother Paul. Lacy Chabert (Lost in Space, Mean Girls) plays Paul’s nervous perfectionist fiancée Sandra. But the two people whose backs must be killing them after carrying the whole movie including Mathew McConaughey and Jennifer Gardner are Michael Douglas and Emma Stone. Emma Stone played the titular ghost of girlfriends past also known as Alison Vandermeersh. Alison was not Connor’s first girlfriend so much as the first person he had sex with. Emma Stone was absolutely hilarious in this role, so very priceless, kept me laughing. Now, Michael Douglas had the best role. He played Connor’s uncle Wayne. He is the one who shows up to tell Connor he will be visited by the ghosts. Then comes back later and we find out that he is the one who taught Connor all of his moves for picking up women in one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Like I said, after the ghost of girlfriends past leaves, the movie is on a steep downward slope and it just gets worse and worse. One thing I don’t like is that they make Uncle Wayne out to be a bad guy for teaching Connor how to pick up women and they make Connor out to be a bad guy for listening and doing the things he does. But, if you watch the movie there is a scene where it shows a young Connor and Jenny at a high school dance or something and they both clearly want each other, then two of Jenny’s friends come over and tell her this guy wants to dance with her and make out with her. So she immediately runs over to the guy, leaving Connor, and starts to make out with this guy, breaking Connor’s heart sending him down the path that makes him the person he is today. So really, it’s all Jenny’s fault for being a bit of a slut in high school that turns Connor into the man slut he is, because she broke his heart.

Anyway, I felt this movie was worth it and it is of course a great date movie, but outside of that the bad acting and poor writing at times really dragged this movie down. The first third of the movie was funny and entertaining but it all stops shortly after that.

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