Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

Haunted by the ghosts of scripts past

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey), famous photographer and renowned womaniser, attends the wedding of his brother (Breckin Meyer), despite not believing in love or marriage, and comes across Jenny (Jennifer Garner), the only woman he ever actually loved. Later in the bathroom, Connor comes across the ghost of his Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas), the man who Connor modeled himself after. Wayne tells him that three ghosts will appear throughout that night to show him his romantic past, present and future, in order to show him the error of his ways. Anyone else feel like this plot's familiar in some way?

When is a Christmas film not a Christmas film? When it has the exact same plot as a well known Christmas tale and has snow, but it's focus is on romance as opposed to the wintery holiday.

Matthew McConaughey plays the typical womanising dick who will discover the error of his ways and fall for his past flame (that isn't a spoiler, it's clearly signposted into obviousness). They go ahead with emphasizing how much of an ass Connor Mead truly is by having him break up with 3 woman he's been simultaneously dating at once over a conference call, but by highlighting the bad features about this character, the writers have dealt themselves a blow as they've made the character so unlikable that the viewers are given no good reason as to why we should be rooting for him to get together with Jenny. McConaughey plays the role merely okay, never managing to rise above that level of acting as he takes upon another romantic role that he's been typecast in, bringing a sense of cheesiness to the role.

Jenny Perotti is nothing more than the typical love interest who's known the main character since childhood, and never attempts to become more than just that. Jennifer Garner plays the role fine, she got the job done, but I could not see the slightest bit of chemistry between her character and Connor, leaving me to not be invested in seeing these two eventually get together. It also did not help how much of Jenny's screentime was devoted to her telling Connor that he was not truly happy when it came to womanizing, as it just made me like her character less the more she banged on about that topic.

"Call me Hugh Hefner one more time..."

Michael Douglas gives the only above average performance of the movie plays the famed Uncle Wayne, the Hugh Hefner type Lothario who's been there, done that many times often, responsible for stealing the show and lighting up the screen with every appearance he makes on-screen, and giving the funniest lines and the best jokes of the entire film, which is not too difficult to pull off, as all of the jokes are pretty basic and can only achieve being mildly funny at rare occasions.

As far as performances go, it was pretty much average performances all around, with very few exceptions. Emma Stone appears as the first ghost to haunt Connor, playing off her character in a campy and fun way, and I found myself liking Breckin Meyers' performance in the movie.

The biggest problem this film has is clear even if you haven't seen a portion of this film but only read the summary, it's so predictable in every way possible. The story, the plot, the jokes, the characters and their development, there is nothing in this film that was surprising in the slightest way, as the film takes one of the most well known stories and adds nothing new to it, leaving this film as merely a montage of things you will have seen before, and there's no fun in watching that as all of it's predictability leaves it to be a dull movie.

The entire last act of the film felt forced, as it goes through the typical wrap up where the lead learns his lesson, fixes everything and gets the girl, while every character that isn't a ghost is romantically paired up in order to end the film on a happy note. The dialogue was very basic and by the numbers.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past severely suffers from being too predictable a film, but it does not help that the jokes are never really that funny, the acting is only really average and the last act of the film feeling very forced. With that said, this movie is not an awful one, it's just a really bad one that's not really worth your time.


HarleyQuinn said…
Not a fan of McConaughey, so I definitely won't be seeing this. great review though!