Review: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Plot: Ladies man Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) goes home for his brother’s wedding, and one of the bridesmaids (Jennifer Garner), happens to be an old flame-who still carries a torch for him. Unwilling to settle down, Mead is visited by the ghost of his dead, womanizing uncle (Michael Douglas), who tells him to expect three Scrooge-style ghosts, who will show him the error of his ways, because- you know, no one could possibly be happy unless they conform to societies standards. Sigh…
Review: Ugh- this has got to be one of the most insipid, nauseating, inane excuses for a romantic comedy that I’ve seen in a long time (or at least since 27 DRESSES). Mere words cannot describe how painful it was to sit through this “film”. Alas dear reader, I see these films so you don’t have to- although I doubt there are many of you out there that actually saw this trailer and thought, “hmm- romantic comedy with Matthew McConaughey- count me in!!!”
Much has been written about how McConaughey’s star is falling, and that he’s only bankable in stupid romantic comedies like this one. It wasn’t always like this for poor Matthew. Back in the nineties, he was actually a respected actor, making a strong debut as a leading man in A TIME TO KILL, and critics at the time hailed him as the next Paul Newman, a comparison which seems ludicrous now. I think the failure of SAHARA really did him in, as it was the last time he seemed to really stretch, but audiences did not flock to see him in action hero mode (although it might have helped if the film had actually been good).
GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST looks like yet another nail in his leading man coffin, as his shtick- which was already wearing thin in films like FOOL’S GOLD, absolutely reaches the breaking point early on, when we’re supposed to accept “aw shucks” McConaughey as an urbane, slick big city photographer capable of dating (and breaking up) with three gorgeous supermodels simultaneously, while his latest conquests looks on adoringly. Puh-leeeze.
Not helping matters is his complete and utter lack of chemistry with co-star Jennifer Garner. While I loves me some Garner, this role is not a good fit for her. While she’s great in films like JUNO & THE KINGDOM (you know- where she actually gets to play three dimensional people), she’s clearly slumming it here (I guess Kate Hudson was busy). The only bright spot in this poor excuse for a film comes courtesy of Michael Douglas, who’s seemingly channeling Robert Evans to play McConaughey’s womanizing uncle. Unfortunately, his role is fairly small (but hopefully the paycheck was big).
Throughout the film, I keep wondering to myself exactly who the target audience for a film like this is. Most would say it’s a chick flick, but all of the female characters are complete caricatures (and not very flattering ones at that- especially the three man-hungry bridesmaids), yet people keep lapping films like this up. It’s sad that there are no good romantic comedies being made anymore, as the genre didn’t always suck. Hopefully someone will make a decent romcom one of these days, but until then we seems doomed to keep getting crappy movies like this one- where the only surprise is that McConaughey only manages to get his shirt off once.
Grade: 2/10 (for Douglas)