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Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Director:David Koepp
Cast:Ricky Gervais, Téa Leoni, Greg Kinnear, Kristen Wiig
Release Date:2008
Genre:Romantic Comedy

By Jason Ferguson | Posted 9/17/2008

With Ricky Gervais finally taking the lead in a movie, you would hope that it would play to the British comedian's wry, acerbic strengths. Sadly, Ghost Town doesn't. Gervais struggles to squeeze himself into a misanthropic dentist whose "cessation" during a routine surgical procedure enables him to communicate with ghosts throughout New York. That struggle occasionally pays off with some winning laugh lines, but for most of Ghost Town, Gervais looks less concerned with making us chuckle and more focused on making his sad-sack/asshole take on Dr. Pincus believable. As an actor, he fails miserably, primarily because anyone as loathsome as Gervais' dentist character would never--under any circumstance--be appealing to anyone as pleasant and beautiful as Téa Leoni's Gwen. Of course, that contrast is the fuel that drives Ghost Town, as Pincus is on a mission (from an equally repulsive ghost played by Greg Kinnear) to sabotage Leoni's current relationship by presenting himself as an alternative. And yes, it's all completely unbelievable. Even the movie's ghostly aspects are poorly played by director David Koepp; though we're led to believe that "New York is lousy with" ghosts, only the same four or five show up to pester Pincus. Gervais and Leoni provide their respective sparks with enough regularity to keep the movie from becoming a total drag, but its hollow premise, muddled execution, and leaden morality combine to make Ghost Town beneath Gervais' reputation as a top-tier comedian.

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