Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
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Run Time:  1 hr. 55 min.

Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in New Line Cinema’s “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (2009).

Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in New Line Cinema’s “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (2009).

What happens when the immovable object, like Matthew McConaughey, who has made a string of bombs longer than Wilt Chamberlain’s arm, meets the irresistible force, like Mark Waters, who directed two of this century’s best comedies, “Freaky Friday” (2003) and “Mean Girls” (2004)? Since this is a director’s medium, one would think the smart money would be on Waters.
Alas, the smart money is not always right. McConaughey emer-ges victorious in this vacuous, unfunny attempt at humor. Maybe Waters can blame writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, along with McConaughey – although Matthew seems to have a genius for picking horrible material. Then, again, maybe I give Matthew too much credit. Maybe he is nothing more than a beautiful smile.
The movie started so poorly that I leaned over to the beautiful 20-something girl sitting next to me and asked if she thought this was as a bad as I did after four minutes. She said she did.
Photographer Connor Mead is a shallow bachelor who disdains commitment. I can’t imagine any woman spending any time with him, much less with her clothes off, regardless of how cute he might be. He is a consummate jerk. He goes to the wedding of his brother Paul (Breckin Meyer), where he comes across the girlfriend of his youth, Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner). What proceeds is predictable, as Connor just about ruins his brother’s wedding, but hey, maybe he can hook up with Jenny again!
This is a takeoff on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as Connor is visited by his dead Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas in a dispiriting performance), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Allison Vandermeersh (Emma Stone, who gives the only good performance in the movie, and it is an exceptional outing, indeed), Present Melanie (Noureen DeWulf) who is not really dead, and Future (Olga Maliouk) an unspeaking, ethereal beauty.
There is not a believable character in the entire movie. The set-up at the beginning of the movie, where we see Connor in action as a professional photographer, is so ridiculous it is obvious Waters knows nothing about photography, and didn’t care enough to hire an advisor to create some believability. After the opening scenes, the movie just plunges downhill.
I would say that this was a complete and utter waste of time and talent, except for Emma Stone.

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