"A Brit in New York dies on the operating table. After being resuscitated, discharged and leaving the hospital, he finds he can see and communicate not only with the living, but also with the dead. As soon as the dead discover his secret they just won't leave him alone... I have always found Ricky Gervais (The Office, Extras) incredibly Englishly funny. In Ghost Town he did not disappoint. He was hilarious from the first to the last minute, what facial expressions! But what got to me, was how sexy his character, Dr Pincus, became as he developed as a character throughout the film. By the end of the film I was positively infatuated with Dr Pincus! The contrasting setting (New York) added to the sense of Englishnes mentioned. Excellent. The film is not just a thigh-slapper though, particularly the middle of the film is quite touching. It makes a pleasant 'Christmas story' (although not set during Christmas, it smacks of being somewhat Dickensian in its theme), has that feel-good factor, and could even pass for romantic comedy. Lots of quotable one-liners."
Ricky Gervais makes it awesome!
English major | Georgia | 12/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie came and went quickly in theaters, but as is so often the case, that is no indication of how great this movie is. Ricky Gervais is brilliant, and as a long-time fan I knew I wanted to see this. (If you haven't already, be sure to check him out in BBC's "The Office" and "Extras", and of course in "Ghost Town"). This movie is charming, poignant, and thanks to Gervais, very funny. His humour and talent are matchless and so enjoyable to witness. You have to see this movie!!"
Gervais does a rom-com!! AND IT WORKS!!!!
RMurray847 | Albuquerque, NM United States | 12/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've thought of Ricky Gervais as many things, but not "romantic-comedy star." But for those willing to take a visit to GHOST TOWN, you'll find him to be a pleasantly agreeable star after-all.
Not that Gervais' Dr. Pincus, a dentist, is pleasant. He's a quiet man, eager to do all he can to stay away from his fellow man, whether by sneaking past an office party for the exit, or not holding an elevator door open for a fellow apartment building dweller. He has disdain for ALL of mankind, and chose the life of a dentist because he can pretty much keep his patients from talking by opening their mouths and shoving things in them. Gervais, as we know from his work on THE OFFICE and EXTRAS, is perfect at this sort of misanthropic character. Unengaged with those around him, full of easy (and hilarious) contempt. The smart remarks he tosses off under his breath are quite funny. Frankly, he reminded me of something akin to Hugh Grant's older, more unpleasant brother.
Early in the film, Dr. Pincus goes in to the hospital for some minor surgery in a very indelicate spot on his body. To avoid the humiliation, he insists on a general anesthetic...and something goes wrong. He dies for seven minutes ("a little less than seven"), and when he comes to, he can suddenly see, be seen by, and interact with ghosts. And New York City is FULL of ghosts. They're all "people" with unfinished business, and in Dr. Pincus, they see a chance to finally get someone to finish their business for them so they can "move on." One particular ghost, played with his usual oily ease, is Greg Kinnear, who wants Gervais to bust up the impending marriage between his widow (Tea Leoni) and a no-good human rights attorney (Billy Campbell...looking 15 years older all of a sudden). Gervais only agrees to try this because a) Kinnear can get the other ghosts to leave him alone, and b) he actually finds Leoni interesting.
If all this sounds very familiar, I'll admit right here that although I've never seen this EXACT formula, it does sound like a mix of ghost movies from TOPPER to GHOST. But GHOST TOWN is its own unique creation, primarily because Gervais is unlike any other actor we've seen in such a role. He's an amazingly quick wit. Listen carefully, and you'll find yourself laughing out loud at half the things he says. He also is quite convincing when he begins to open up his heart just a little bit more. We see, of course, that there is a good but wounded man underneath all the nastiness.
The film holds no real surprises, but it does get many familiar pleasures right. That Leoni has never become a bigger star has always dismayed me...she's super intelligent but excellent at vulnerability...and she's capable of being funny as hell. In GHOST TOWN, she and Gervais develop a most tentative but very engaging relationship. It is...dare I say it...sweet.
Kinnear and the supporting cast are all okay, but nothing more. There are some moving moments near the end involving the other ghosts...but mostly, this is Gervais' film...ably assisted by Leoni. It feels old fashioned yet modern too. And if it weren't for two totally unneeded "f-bombs"...it would be quite suitable for ages 13 and up. But then again, this is a love story about two folks in their `40s...how many people will THAT turn off? For me, a man IN his `40s...I liked it and hope that the film finds the audience it deserves."
Funny! Sweet! Buddies! Cinematography, too!
M. Montgomery | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How was this movie passed over by the public? It should have made $$$. It is the BEST all-around date/couples/friends movie. Beautifully shot in Manhattan (makes me want to live there) This movie is funny with laugh out loud yuks. There's a love story super sweet and it's also got male bonding buddies. Tea Leoni is so pretty Ricky Gervais is funny as you expect but with a side of maturity and character development. Please see this movie-it is wonderful."
4.5 stars, rounded up, for a charming romantic comedy
terpfan1980 | Somewhere near Washington DC, United States | 12/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ricky Gervais is perfect for a role such as the one he has in Ghost Town, that of an anti-social individual so full of his own issues that he doesn't notice others around him, except at the times that he's irritated with them. He plays a straight man (in the comedic sense) so well that it allows others to make jokes of him or around him that keep the audience laughing without ever realizing that the humor is all his.
Ghost Town also features, of course, a town full of ghosts, not the least is which is the character played by Greg Kinnear. An adulterer that seems to have unfinished business with his widow that he needs the help of Gervais' Dr. Pincus to help resolve.
Thanks to what some would call a near death experience while having a routine medical procedure done Dr. Pincus sees dead people (ghosts) all around him. Even though Dr. Pincus would like nothing more than to continue to live his lonely existence, getting the ghosts to leave him alone might not be possible if he doesn't cooperate a little.
Téa Leoni plays Kinnear's widow and soon inspires Dr. Pincus to reach out and open himself up, but not, of course, without comedic results.
Ghost Town includes wonderful writing and top shelf acting from everyone involved. In the sparce extras on the Blu-ray version there's a gag reel that shows some of the fun that the cast had making the film. There's also a featurette that shows a little of how the effects were done for the film.
The Picture quality is good on the Blu-ray, though much of the film takes place indoors so we don't get the benefits of panoramic or majestic background scenery to take in and awe inspire us.
Well worth viewing, even if many elements of the film date back to other films and TV shows. If not for the relatively small package of extras, it would rate a solid "buy it" from me, but in it's current version I'll leave it as landing in the middle of "buy it" or "rent it" depending on how much you like the films stars."