Review: Ghost Town (2008 movie)

Ricky Gervais is a British-born New York dentist who’s content to be friendless because he finds other people pretty consistently annoying.

When a near-death experience leaves him able to see and hear ghosts, the apparitions don’t strike him as the least bit terrifying, merely annoying, just the way living people are. In fact, they’re worse. The restless dead, it turns out, are hanging around for a reason, and they figure Gervais can help them, though he’s not at all inclined to do so.

The most persistent of the deceased is Greg Kinnear, who promises to get all the other ghosts off his back if Gervais will do one thing for him, namely, somehow stop his widow, Téa Leoni, from marrying a lawyer he can’t stand. Gervais reluctantly agrees to look into it, and to his surprise he finds her interesting and likable.

From there it’s a mostly (but not entirely) predictable romantic comedy, but it’s quite watchable, mainly on the strength of the cast, which includes Kristen Wiig as a doctor involved in Gervais’s near-death experience during a colonoscopy of all things. You died a little bit during the procedure, she reluctantly admits to him, but you got all better. What caused it? Well, we recommended against general anesthesia but you insisted. No, you can’t talk the the anesthesiologist. He no longer works at this hospital. We have a very strict three-strikes policy.

There are some nice moments and some quite funny ones.

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