Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer
Garner, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Emma
Stone, Anne Archer, Robert Forster, Michael Douglas
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: http://www.ghostsofgirlfriendspastmovie.com/
Opening Day: 11 June 2009
fashion photographer Colin Mead (Matthew McConaughey) is the
prototypical playboy: He’s handsome, confident,
and successful…especially with the ladies. He
lives life in the fast lane with no emotional connections,
no regrets. He seems to have everything he could ever
want – everything but love. But Colin doesn’t
believe in love; he’s spent a lifetime avoiding it.
All that changes when Colin heads home one weekend for his
little brother’s wedding where he is confronted with
his past…or rather ghosts of his girlfriends past.
A Scrooge-like take on the classic romantic comedy, The
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a clever, charming and
uproariously funny trip down memory lane that’s going
to turn Colin Mead’s world upside down.
If there’s one demographic that Hollywood hasn’t
showed its love to this summer, it’s the chicks. Over
the past few weeks, the fanboys, the action junkies and the
families have all had something they can revel in at the cinemas.
But what about those who came out in throngs to catch Sex
and the City last year?
while Carrie and Mr Big figure out what their next romantic
step should be, Hollywood has decided to serve up some perfectly
agreeable distraction in the form of Matthew McConaughey.
Mr Go-To Guy for romantic comedies, there’s something
about his laid-back style and South-western drawl that has
captivated more than a few ladies- hence the success of “How
to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Failure to Launch”.
of Girlfriends Past” sees McConaughey reprising the
same cocky “player” persona he has perfected over
several similar movies. Here he’s the caddish high-fashion
Connor Mead, who uses the advantages of his job to get it
on with the ladies. It’s the sex he’s after, nothing
less and especially nothing more- heck, he conveniently breaks
up with three girls at the same time via conference call just
so he can quickly get it on with his latest quarry.
Connor is about to get a rude awakening about the consequences
about his sexual catch-and-release when he attends his younger
brother Paul’s (Breckin Meyer) wedding. In a gimmicky
spin on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Connor is
told by the late Uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas) that he will
be visited by the ghosts of girlfriends past, present and
future. Of course, by the time the last ghost departs, you
can guess that Connor will realise the folly of his philandering
ways. But the fun lies in the journey he takes to this self-discovery.
occasionally tender and awkward as revisiting one’s
past usually is, Connor’s trip down memory lane is marked
by the sweet innocence of first love and the insouciance of
youth. It’s a nostalgic journey that you won’t
mind taking- more so with some definitive ‘80s tunes
like Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. And
thanks to screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who also
wrote last year’s Four Christmases), it’s also
a journey filled with witty lines and amusing setups.
hilarious is seeing Michael Douglas teaching his then-young
nephew Connor the ropes of his womanizing ways. In what Douglas
has said is a performance modelled after the real-life Hollywood
playboy producer Robert Evans, he appears in an uproarious
getup complete with tinted, oversized glasses and a crop of
luxurious, wavy hair. His character Wayne also delivers some
of the movie’s best lines- “Women like to be screwed,
they don’t like to be screwed over”.
the time present and future come a-knocking, the movie takes
a more sombre tone as Connor meets the implications of his
irresponsible ways right up to his own funeral. Thankfully,
director Mark Waters of “Mean Girls” and “Freaky
Friday” keeps the mood alive by injecting some cheeky
dark humour- the kind where Connor finds himself in a shower
of shed tears, used tissues and used condoms courtesy of his
golden-boy McConaughey has now arguably less of his youth,
he still has lost none of his allure, whether playing the
smarmy lecher or the charming romantic. This is a movie that
is almost McConaughey’s one-man show and the actor shows
that he has enough panache to pull it off. The same can also
be said of Jennifer Garner, who displays some nice comic timing
as Jenny, McConaughey’s first and only true love in
also gives Jenny a surprising amount of depth and warmth,
and her chemistry with McConaughey is a delight to watch.
Together, they are the heart of this movie, so that more than
just delivering the laughs, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”
also manages to impart a few nuggets of wisdom about love,
family and relationships. Love isn’t just magic comfort
food for the weak and uneducated, as Connor so ignorantly
proclaims at the start, and if you need such an affirmation,
look no further.
Garner and a hilarious Michael Douglas make sure that this
perfectly agreeable rom-com more than delivers the laughs)
Review by Gabriel Chong