"GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5 stars)
Matthew McConaughey as CONNOR MEAD
Jennifer Garner as JENNI PEROTTI
Breckin Meyer as PAUL
Lacey Chabert as SANDRA
Michael Douglas as UNCLE WAYNE
Emma Stone as ALLISON VANDERMEERSH
Own it on Blu-ray, DVD
and On-Demand June 23
Official "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" Site
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: Mark Waters
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Connor Mead (McConaughey) is a consummate womanizer who takes off the weekend to attend his brother’s wedding. Not being a big fan of marriage, his shenanigans threaten to break up the wedding, and Connor is in for a reckoning when he is given the Ebeneezer Scrooge treatment by a series of ghosts. Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) is his version of Jacob Marley, warning Connor of having a life without love. Soon, Connor is whisked away by three ghosts to show him why womanizing isn’t the best thing, and allowing him to rediscover his true love, Jenni Perotti (Jennifer Garner).
WHAT I LIKED
As a film critic, it’s hard to not jump on the rom-com-hating bandwagon out there. I, however, will stand tall and declare that I like a fun, mainstream romantic comedy if it is executed well. Lord knows, I’ve seen some real stinkers in my time, even as a piece of counter-programming fluff against box office star “Wolverine,” “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” was enjoyable to this red-blooded American male.
I’ve never been a fan of Matthew McConaughey, but I haven’t hated his work either. Some of his movies are pretty lame, but some are decent in my book. He works best when he can play self-deprecating because as a cool guy, he comes off as cocky. The silly “Christmas Carol” spin on this film allows McConaughey to play the fool and give the audience a chance to like him.
However, it’s the ghosts that steal the show. In particular, Emma Stone is brilliant as Connor’s “first time,” making me wish the movie was more about her story. Still, McConaughey has some decent chemistry with Jennifer Garner, who really only seems to pop as a star if she’s paired with someone like this.
Finally, Michael Douglas is a hoot as Uncle Wayne, making most guys in the audience simultaneously want to be him and to avoid his fate. In the end, it’s the cast that makes “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” work as a date movie.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest stumbling block this movie faced was its second half, when the story slows down a bit and tries to be too tender. This is a challenge to get through for most rom-coms, and while the film gets past the slump, it never quite recaptures the momentum from the beginning of the film.
Finally, the character of Connor Meade is funny on the screen but ultimately too unbelievable. If all his tricks worked all the time with all women, the world would be a sad and scary place. In reality, these sort of conquests are a game of numbers, and it doesn’t always work on the perfect tens. (Or so I’ve heard from the grapevine.)
“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” comes with plenty of special features on the Blu-ray. However, the DVD copy I was sent just has the widescreen and full-screen versions of the film, and that’s a real let-down.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Rom-com fans and anyone hot for Matthew McConaughey or Jennifer Garner... or Michael Douglas (ew!).