Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Director: Mark Waters
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Douglas
Distributor: Independent
Runtime: 100 mins. Reviewed in Nov 2011
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Rating notes:


A variation on the romantic comedy plots – which won’t figure near the top of the lists of this kind of film.

Easy enough to review: narcissistic hedonist photographer, Connor Mead (Matthew McConnaughey), is a love ’em (no, too dignified for his flippant stands) and leave ’em (as quickly as possible); when he undermines his brother’s wedding party, he experiences an Ebenezer Scrooge nightmare which transforms him into Mr Nice Guy. As can be seen, miserliness is not his vice that needs reform.

Who should be his Jacob Marley but Michael Douglas as Connor’s self-indulgent playboy Uncle Wayne who turns up to deliver some moral messages with the aid of three ghosts who lead him through his scandalous past (along with the huge bevy of women who either succumb to his charms to take the initiative to seduce him), his disruptive present with the wedding guests and a possible future where the girl that he really loves (Jennifer Garner) marries someone else and his jilted brother, Breckin Meyer, is the only person to turn up for his funeral.

In terms of dramatic credibility, this takes a lot of suspension of disbelief. Rather, it is what most of us would hope would happen (unless you were a recalcitrant Connor Mead type impervious to moral values and persuasion and this would be water off a duck’s back). One guesses that a women’s audience who experienced this kind of man and his flaunting himself and felt repelled or that they had been deceived would respond positively enough to the basic message – and might be tempted to take him along to see if he could see Connor Mead as something of a mirror.

Obviously, it’s not going to convert too many in the cinema. It might do better on video for a women’s group or a captive male. And then the next romantic comedy will come along.

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