Ghost Town (2008)
Reviewed on 2010 March 2
The best way to describe this is a comedic take on The Sixth Sense, anchored to a very screwy blend of bone-dry British humor and American wackiness. If you like English comedy, you should enjoy this.
Bertram Pincus, D.D.S. (Ricky Gervais, providing us the dry British component) has a personality that’s about as pleasant as the whine of one of his dental drills. The joke is demonstrated, a few times and humorously each time, that the main lure this profession held for him was the ability to stuff a dental tool or cotton wad in a patient’s mouth if they got too chatty with him. Dr. Pincus just wants to do his job and go home, but other plans are made for him. Thanks to a mishap during a proctological exam — and I have to give them a morsel just for pulling this off without being gross — Pincus is now a conduit for the dead. They are delighted to have a courier for their last requests or final messages to loved ones in the living world, but Pincus didn’t like his fellow man when he walked the earth, and he has no use for them once they’ve passed, either.
Gervais was excellent in this, as were Greg Kinnear and Téa Leoni. The writing was smooth and I even got a kick out of the little things that set this apart from mainstream movies, like the use of a cheery Beatles song as a man crosses into the netherworld. I think this snuck under the wire at a lot of theaters because it’s not a typical comedy. Or ghost story, or anything else, for that matter. Since it was hard to pigeonhole, I’m sure it got bypassed in favor of noisier, shinier stuff like Twilight and Step Brothers. It’s worth a rental and, if you like Monty Python, possibly buying the DVD.
Three chocolate morsels.