Saturday, January 3, 2009

Seen "Ghost Town"? Why the hell not?

Turning now to the cinema, here's a plug for Ghost Town, the finest comedy of 2008. Too bad nobody bothered to see it during its brief run in theaters.

The wife and I watched it last night, courtesy of Netflix and my great big 52-inch television. Ricky Gervais is not precisely the same character he played in the original The Office and Extras, but his role as a dentist named Bertram Pincus isn't quite a departure, either: a veneer of British civility stretched way too thin over a fundamentally misanthropic personality.

After a colonoscopy complication leaves him clinically dead for seven minutes, Dr. Pincus finds himself beset by a variety of spirits who want him to help complete their unfinished business in the physical world. Complications ensue. It's Sixth Sense with a sense of humor -- and surprisingly, a bit of genuine poignance at the end.

Ghost Town was hawked heavily in trailers and TV spots before its release; usually this means you see the funniest parts so often that the movie itself feels like a rerun. Here, the ads don't do the film justice. The biggest laughs come not from the sight gags but the deft dialogue. SNL's Kristin Wiig has a slight role as a clueless doctor, but she delivers some of the film's biggest laughs.

Four thumbs up here. Dave Bob says rent it now.

7 comments:

Peter Rozovsky said...

"After a colonoscopy complication leaves him clinically dead for seven minutes,"

That's the best sentence fragment I've read all day.

Dave Knadler said...

It's that kind of movie. It really is a nice change from the crap we usually see in the holiday comedy genre.

Deborah said...

I LOVED this movie. I found it clever, witty, and just plain funny! I've been trying to get people to watch since it opened in theaters. Not sure why the lack of interest.

Dave Knadler said...

Maybe the title? I don't know. But I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this will become a classic, like "Groundhog Day" and "A Christmas Story."

J. Kingston Pierce said...

On your recommendation, my wife and I watched Ghost Town last night. Loved it! I never thought I'd find Ricky Gervais an endearing character, but this film showed me he could be just that. And of course, it also features Greg Kinnear and the lovely Tea Leoni--both of whom are eminently watchable. This may not be a great movie, but it's certainly memorable. I look forward to seeing it again sometime.

Cheers,
Jeff

Dave Knadler said...

I probably set the bar a little low when it comes to comedies -- it's so rare to find one that's funny. But I almost watched it again before sending it back to Netflix. For me, that makes it a classic.

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