Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

Director: Mark Waters

Cast: Matthew McConaughey as Connor Mead, Jennifer Garner as Jenny Perotti, Michael Douglas as Uncle Wayne, Emma Stone as Allison Vandermeersh, Breckin Meyer as Paul, Lacey Chabert as Sandra, Robert Forster as Sergeant Volkom, Anne Archer as Vonda Volkom, Daniel Sunjata as Brad, Noureen DeWulf as Melanie, Rachel Boston as Deena the Bridesmaid, Camille Guaty as Donna the Bridesmaid, Amanda Walsh as Denice the Bridesmaid, Emily Foxler as Nadja, Catherine Haena Kim as Charlece

For those who have played the field and sown some wild oats around
town, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past might be a walk down a personal memory
lane into why nothing lasts longer than possibly that first, genuine
relationship. There are reasons abound why some are either commitment
freaks, or just plainly wanting to chalk up a list of conquests to show
off, and for top fashion photographer Connor Meat, erm I mean Mead
(Matthew McConaughey), it's a run from responsibility, and the fear of
never ever wanting to be hurt again.

I'm pretty sure many who have gone through a break-up would admit to
having it leave some bad aftertaste, that you'd just want the upper
hand the next time around when dealing with that painful, negative
emotion, should and if it happens. Call it insurance, or the hardening
of the heart, and if you're to subscribe to the tips shared in this
film, it's preaching to love a little less if you're to walk away
unscathed. This does not apply to those who are for the notion of true
love, happiness and that institution called Marriage, and for a film
whose protagonist celebrates and actually enjoys his freedom and
singlehood, it ends with a cop-out smack in the face.

The trailer would have pretty much shown everything you need to know
about the plot. For the ultimate swinger in Connor, nothing is worse
than having to attend the wedding of his brother Paul (Breckin Meyer)
as his best man, to toast during a ceremony he won't touch with a ten
foot pole. Making it worse of course is the attendance of the only girl
he has ever had genuine feelings for, his childhood and first
girlfriend Jenny Perotti (Jennifer Garner). Then comes the whole
shebang of A Christmas Carol proportions where Connor is visited by his
dead uncle, Wayne (Michael Douglas), responsible for imparting his
techniques to getting laid, who tells him that he'll be visited by
three ghosts before the night is up. And for the home run, it's a
determination if Connor would become a changed person and end up with
the girl of his dreams (the future ghost did look hot though).

Those expecting comedy, you'll be disappointed as the jokes come off
rather half-baked, making fun of best mens as nerds and bridesmaids who
are horny all the time. Then there's the future father-in-law in war
veteran Sergeant Volkom (Robert Forster) and his ex-wife Vonda (Anne
Archer) whom Connor tries to hit (no women too young or old it seems).
Those in for romance, unfortunately both McConaughey and Garner exhibit
no sparks nor chemistry, perhaps the latter being all settled already
as a real mom, that she's miscast as the mid-30-something still out
there looking for love, and holding a candle for her childhood friend.

Director Mark Waters would be an old hand at handling ghostly
apparitions in a romantic comedy, after all he had dealt with Resse
Whiterspoon and Mark Ruffalo in Just Like Heaven. But his only saving
grace in this movie with little surprises, is that of Michael Douglas'
performance as the old-swinger Uncle Wayne, hamming it up as the adult
version of Will Smith's Hitch, but with some pluses in not just wanting
to establish that first hello, but going all the way for that one night
stand, sharing some tips and tricks that you probably might just get
lucky with.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past turns out to be a misnomer, as Emma Stone
gets to represent the countless of faceless, nameless women that Connor
gets down with. As a date movie it's pretty formula, made worse by its
taking a leaf from A Christmas Carol. The only element that kept me
entertained, was the blast from the past moments complete with an
excellent soundtrack to bring back those 80s and 90s nostalgia. See if
you can spot the track 6 Underground by The Sneaker Pimps, and Time
After Time by Cyndi Lauper, amongst others.

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