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  Publicity Stills of
"Over Her Dead Body"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Jeff Lowell
Cast: Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell, Lindsay Sloane, Jason Biggs
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.overherdeadbodymovie.com/

Opening Day: 8 May 2008


Devastated when his fiancée Kate (Eva Longoria Parker) is killed on their wedding day, Henry (Paul Rudd) reluctantly agrees to consult a psychic named Ashley (Lake Bell) at the urging of his sister Chloe (Lindsay Sloane). Despite his skepticism over her psychic abilities, Henry finds himself falling hard for Ashley, and vice versa. But there is a big snag. Ashley is being haunted by Kate's ghost, who considers it her heavenly duty to break up Henry and Ashley's fledgling romance, if it is the last thing she does on this earthly plane....

Movie Review:

The rules of thumb in Hollywood when it comes to rehashing previous movie ideas are clear - either produce a sequel, a remake or improvise by making some variations to a proven classic. "Over Her Dead Body" falls in the last category, with the proven classic in question being the 1990 hit romance-fantasy film "Ghost" starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. While "Ghost" made some moviegoers shed tears, "Over Her Dead Body" tries to tickle a funny bone or two.

"Over Her Dead Body" opens with a wedding preparation gone horribly wrong. Kate (Eva Longoria Parker) gets killed in an accident, leaving her fiance Henry (Paul Rudd) in grief. To help him move on with his life, his sister Chloe encourages him to consult a psychic named Ashley (Lake Bell) so that he can communicate with Kate's soul and obtain closure. Henry reluctantly gives in to the idea, unexpectedly falling in love with Ashley in the process. Ashley wants to reciprocate towards a relationship but little does Ashley know that Kate, being the jealous lady that she always is, has come back from the dead as a free-roaming spirit to stop Ashley from getting together with Henry, thinking that this is what she should do to protect Henry and earn herself a ticket to heaven. Thus, a conflict ensues between Kate and Ashley, who is the only person able to see Kate while others cannot.

This is one of the rare times that Eva Longoria Parker takes on a leading role in a feature film following supporting turns in "The Sentinel" and "Harsh Times". Apparently, she plays it safe by sticking to her demanding and snobbish persona from the “Desperate Housewives” TV show. As a result, she doesn't stretch her acting range enough to make an impact. It is also hard for the average viewer to feel sorry for her Kate character. The real star in this movie is Lake Bell. Besides displaying her charm whenever she is onscreen, she has the fortune of having the most developed character and arguably the most amount of screentime in the entire film, therefore encouraging viewers to root for Ashley instead of Kate. Paul Rudd, on the other hand, plays it straight as the nice guy who doesn't shine very often. As in Eva Longoria Parker's case, he simply transfers his alter ego from the "Friends" TV sitcom to this film.

Of course, I have to mention Jason Biggs. Where does he fit into this film? Well, he's Ashley's partner in her side catering business as well as her gay best friend who's always there to lend a hand or a shoulder to cry on. From the film’s standpoint, he’s the bumbling comical one. (And no, he doesn’t get intimate with a pie for him to achieve that, if you are wondering.)

As a romantic comedy, “Over Her Dead Body” delivers what is expected from it. There are some laughable moments to be found, but not many that can induce stomach pains. Special effects are sparingly used when it comes to conveying Kate’s supernatural abilities such as levitation and passing through solid objects that they don’t take the focus away from the cast’s performance. Overall, this is a lighthearted, feel-good film that is fairly impressive only because of Lake Bell’s participation. Speaking of which, this can be a vehicle for her to be on the Hollywood map. Previously best known for her works on TV such as “Boston Legal” and “Surface”, she may go far with her attractive looks and commendable acting. The same cannot be said for Eva Longoria Parker who needs to put in more variety in her acting for her future roles.

Movie Rating:

(A typical romantic comedy in which there is not a ghost of a chance you see something breathtaking aside from uncovering a star in the making in Lake Bell)

Review by Tan Heng Hau


. The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

. Knocked Up (2007)

. The Ex (2007)

. John Tucker Must Die (2006)

. The Oh In Ohio (2006)

. The Break Up (2006)

. Just Like Heaven (2005)


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