Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/05/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Enjoyable, well acted romcom that pushes all the right emotional buttons, though it's not as consistently funny as it should have been.

What's it all about?
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is an update of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, cleverly spliced into a romcom plot: Matthew McConaughey takes the Scrooge role as smarmy, womanising photographer Connor Mead who refuses to commit and thinks nothing of breaking up with multiple women on a conference call with his current date still in the room. When he attends his younger brother Paul's (Breckin Meyer) wedding, he's not at all surprised to discover that he's already slept with three of the four bridesmaids, one of whom is his childhood best friend Jenny (Jennifer Garner).

However, as the night wears on Connor is visited by the ghost of his lecherous Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) who warns him that he'll be visited by the ghosts of past girlfriends. The ghost of his first fling (Emma Stone) then whisks him through a lifetime of failed relationships, causing Connor to realise that Jenny is, in fact, the love of his life. But is he too late?

The Good
McConaughey can do sleazy-but-likeable in his sleep, so he's pretty much on autopilot here, but he has strong chemistry with Garner and really nails his emotional scenes towards the end. Similarly, Garner ditches the annoying simpering of her previous screen roles (Juno aside) and is actually allowed to be funny for once.

However, the film is effectively stolen away from the two leads by a host of terrific supporting performances, including Michael Douglas (hilarious as the advice-dispensing lothario), Emma Stone (‘Now we're going to watch a montage of you and Jenny set to Cindy Lauper's Time After Time’), Noureen DeWulf (as Connor's sharp-tongued assistant) and Lacey Chabert, who's very funny as Paul's highly strung bride to be.

The Bad
The only real problem with the film is it's not quite as funny as it should have been, perhaps because McConaughey lacks the comedic skills of say, Vince Vaughan.

Worth seeing?
That said, the film pushes all the right emotional buttons and you'll be hard-pressed not to be wiping away tears by the end. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (12A)
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Content updated: 20/04/2019 00:02

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