Review: Over Her Dead Body
PLOT: It was supposed to be the perfect day for Kate and Henry. A wedding day that would bring them joy and togetherness for the rest of their lives. But unfortunately, the man who made the giant ice sculpture didnt put wings on his ice angel, and it leads to the brides accidental death. A year or so later, Henrys sister begs him to see a psychic who may be able to communicate with his dead fiancé. But when the psychic turns out to be a lovely young woman named Ashley, Henry begins to finally feel something for someone else. Nothing like a man moving on to bring up the wrath of Kates ghost.
Seeing OVER HER DEAD BODY was somewhat of a painful experience for me. There are bad comedies that have nothing to offer, and it is easy to dismiss them. But this has Paul Rudd and it has Lake Bell. I like both of these actors. And both make for a very credible on-screen romance. With these two, I would have really loved to like this film. The problem is the concept and its execution. Kate (Eva Longoria Parker) and Henry (Rudd) are about to be married. Yet even on her wedding day Kate is busy ordering the hired help around. She refuses to accept an ice sculpture of an angel because it doesnt have wings. So the artist who created his angel drives away with the bride-to-be following behind. Wackiness ensues and she gets touched by an angel when the sculpture crashes down on her. She is killed instantly.
After this debacle of a wedding, poor Henry has shut himself off with his work and is not trying to start over with a new relationship. I dont know why? Maybe because his fiancé just died??? Imagine that. But his pushy sister Chloe (Lindsey Sloane, who is incredibly cute) persuades him to see a psychic named Ashley (Bell) to help him move on. And the thing about this particular psychic is that she is pretty and charming, and most importantly, she really does have a gift to speak to the dead. Long story short, the two soon become a couple. Yet, this is partly based on the fact that Chloe has given the psychic Kates diary. She begs her to use it to convince her loving brother to move on. All this leads to the return of the fiancés ghost who cant seem to give up her would be husband. In fact, she makes life very difficult for the only person that can see her. Think GHOST, expect without the romance or even the fun.
Part of the problem here, aside from the script, is Eva. She isnt particularly good at this kind of comedy. Or maybe it is because of her misguided character. She is an annoying, bitchy woman who you have a hard time believing this guy would find much interest in, let alone want to marry. And Ms. Longoria Parker feels one-note throughout the entire film making her as much of a nuisance to the audience as she is to Ashley. And speaking of Ash, Lake Bell is fine as the leading lady dealing with the ghost. But the filmmakers dont seem to know what to do with her character. In the beginning, she is sweet, smart and a seemingly grounded person. But throughout the film they start having her do pratfalls and other nonsense and it is all very inconsistent. Yet to Bells credit, she is able to pull off all her characters quirks. OVER HER DEAD BODY tries to be all things comedy. It is slapstick, it is romantic, yet it does neither very well.
Also showing up for the fun is Jason Biggs from the AMERICAN PIE (before the straight to video) franchise. He is also good here, but his character is cliché ridden and harbors a really lame secret which is pretty obvious. In fact, most of this film is cliché ridden and obvious. Writer/director Jeff Lowell who did great work with Sports Night, just offers up a misconceived and erratic comedy that isnt funny. Yet I really credit both Rudd and Bell, they have wonderful chemistry together and I would have preferred to see something that focused on their relationship without the wacky antics. Because OVER HER DEAD BODY is neither funny, charming or anything else that will make it a memorable hour and a half of viewing pleasure. My rating 2.5/10 -- JimmyO
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