Ghost Town

Ghost Town

(2008)

In his first top billing in a feature film, Ricky Gervais sees dead people. Socially stunted Bertram Pincus (Gervais) dies unexpectedly only to be miraculously revived shortly after. The downside is he now sees ghosts everywhere. Worse still, they all seem to need his help, especially Frank (Greg Kinnear), who wants Pincus to stop his widow's (Tea Leoni) impending wedding.... More

Gervais' most successful outings to this point have seen him pull double shifts as both actor and writer. This time the latter duty falls to director David Koepp, whose scriptwriting experience is rooted in blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones IV.Hide

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Flicks Review

Ricky Gervais hasn't got the right face to play the romantic male lead. He doesn't have the right body, height or acting ability either. But that hasn't stopped the makers of Ghost Town going right ahead.

Bascially, Ghost Town involves Gervais doing a version of The Office's David Brent transplanted to Manhattan. He's Bertram Pincus, a misanthropic dentist who can suddenly see and hear ghosts. This ability, attained after he "died" for a few minutes during an operation, leads him to be bothered by Manhattan's ghost population, who all have unresolved issues. Pincus not only sees dead people, he hates hates dead people.

The most persistent ghost is Frank (Greg Kinnear) who wants Pincus to break up his widow Gwen and her new fiancé. Instead, since this is a formulaic rom-com, Pincus falls for Gwen (Tea Leoni) and tries desperately, in his inept, off-putting, creepy way, to romance her.

Despite valiant attempts to make the awful Pincus likable, there is no real reason why someone like Gwen would possibly fall for a short, mean, potato-faced guy like him.

There are some amusing moments and it's not as crude, rude or nude as recent raunchy rom-coms such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but this one's really most appealing for die-hard Gervais fans.


Reviewed by Margaret Agnew - Margaret's day job is chief film reviewer for The Press newspaper, she also writes the film blog Reeling.

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 4 reviews
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Low-key, unassuming, off-the-shelf American rom-com, raised several levels above the normal dire standard of this ilk by Gervais' wonderfully dry adlibbing. Came so close to pulling off a great finale, but they lost their bottle. Shame. Still, I sniggered through most of the movie. It won't change your life, but it has its moments


I certainly didn't expect to be crying with laughter - but the Great Dane scenes got me! Loved the witty script and Gervais' unique comedy style - and why don't we see more of Tea Leoni in movies? It's sad to see onjections to the story on the grounds that Gervais hasn't got "leading-man looks"....does that mean only the physically perfect are lovable?? Don't think so! Such a "Hollywoodised: mentality that betrays. Also loved the very different views of New York - I thought the art direction... More was excellent.Hide


I got to see this film on a plane trip recently in the US, I was glad cause I might not have gone and seen it otherwise - I dislike The Office, so don't let that put you off.

The story line is kinda worn a bit now - i see dead people and they all need my help - but the film doesn't try to pretend it is anything new. Instead Ghost Town is a humorous, entertaining film with a nice twisted storyline.

My only complaint on the story line is that the David Brent character should have figured out... More earlier on how to get rid of the ghosts - I mean has he not seen Ghost Whisperer or Medium. But then again once he does figure it out there isn't much between then and the end so I guess it is lucky it didn't happen too early on - the film would have been very short.

Great ending I didn't see that coming.Hide


Real laugh out loud moments - and i did laugh out loud on watching this on an airplane . Story is silly but fun and Gervais is brilliant . Anyone critising his lack of suitable leading man 'looks' are from a bunch of sheep from the Hollywood movie mentality. It is not about looks for his character HENCE the funniness of the film. So what if his character in teh film is like David Brent - David Brent is frekin hilarious! so - note to yourself- if you dont like 'The Office' (UK Version) you... More will not like this film...and you have no sense of humour.Hide


Showing 4 of 4 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

85% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • If you like Gervais' usual schtick, you might be prepared to overlook the hackneyed plot for the jokes and strong cast. Full Review

  • A winning mix of sharp comedy and touching bits that keeps the laughter - a few tears - flowing. Full Review

  • Audiences who feel battered by Hollywood's usual hard-sell approach to farce may be disarmed by Koepp's soft touch and inclined to credit blandness as understatement. Full Review

  • A misanthropic dentist, a roguish ghost and a zany Egyptologist: as these unlikely companions scamper around Manhattan in the buoyant comedy Ghost Town, they resurrect the spirits of classic movie curmudgeons like W. C. Fields and such romantic comedians as Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in Woody Allen territory. Full Review

  • Ricky Gervais does a good job of livening up this generic romantic comedy. Full Review

  • In his first lead role, Gervais seems to struggle with the rom-com restraints. He's genuinely funny - but he's not a leading man, and at times you can almost sense his frustration with the genre he's working in. Full Review

  • Smartly supernatural, and featuring sensational performances by Ricky Gervais and Tea Leoni, Ghost Town is a 'Topper' for our times. Full Review

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