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Masand's review: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past


Rajeev Masand,CNN-IBN
Aug 22, 2009 at 03:27am IST

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Douglas

Direction: Mark Waters

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past stars Matthew McConaughey as Connor Mead, a celebrity photographer and incorrigible charmer who has only one use for the ladies.

When the sex gets repetitive though and it's time to move on to greener pastures, he's the kind of guy who breaks up with three exes on a video conference call because he's too lazy to call it off in person.

At his younger brother's wedding, he's a complete disaster – he accidentally destroys the four-tier cake, he shamelessly hits on the bride's mother, and causes havoc when he lets slip that the groom had slept with one of the bridesmaids.

He also runs into his earliest girlfriend Jenny (played by Jennifer Garner), who's still carrying a torch for him, but knows it's not worth getting her heart broken again. About this time, Connor is visited by the spirit of his dead Uncle Wayne (played by Michael Douglas), the ultimate playboy himself in his time, who Connor learnt all his moves from incidentally. He's forced to confront an endless history of past affairs when Uncle Wayne's visit is followed by a visit from the ghosts of girlfriends past, present and future who persuade Connor to change his ways or forever be doomed.

Now Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is exactly the kind of movie that's likely to be remade in Hindi with Akshay Kumar in the lead. Think about it, Akshay has the same smugness that Matthew McConaughey has built a career on, and both men have excelled the art of taking their shirt off and letting their sex appeal do what their acting can't.

That aside, the problem with this film is the jokes are all stale and McConaughey doesn't have the skills to make his emotional scenes credible either. In all fairness, you've seen the actor play this kind of commitment-phobic cad so many times before, there's just nothing new this time round.

The film's real laughs are provided by Michael Douglas who still has a rakish charm about him, and does very well as the smooth Hugh Hefner-style ladies' man.

If you find comfort in the familiar, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is your average Hollywood rom-com that's best watched on a long flight with little else to do. I'm going with two out of five.

Rating: 2 / 5 (Average)

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