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The West Wing
A confirmed bachelor (Matthew McConaughey) is haunted by – guess what? – ‘ghosts’ of his past girlfriends! I’m assuming they’re mad! Brought on by attending a family wedding, which have always been known to bring on all sorts of things….
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Hollywood movies are all about true love. Think of all the films that are made and there is usually always a true love story happening. Even the X-Men Wolverine film, which is opening the same weekend as Ghosts of Girlfriends past, is also essentially a love story. This pattern of storylines tells you a lot and the #1 lessen is that the studios know this is what people want.
I guess most of us believe in true love. That is perhaps the great belief of mankind, even more powerful than the high power belief.
There was a time that I thought these movies were silly and pretty lame. This was during the time when I actually was in love with someone, but was in extreme denial about it, so these movies were throwing my inner truth in my face and I hated them for it. Most of us have that guy or girl that got away and they got away because we were children attempting to handle this very adult emotion. Love is the scariest thing in the world and you really need to be a man or woman (and not a boy or girl) to really understand it. And if you are still in that developing stage, then you're in big trouble. And the person who loves you back is in even more trouble because they usually get hurt the most.
So Ghosts of Girlfriends past is another film in the long list of films that is about a boy learning to become a man so he can actually be in love with someone. The girl who got away and the one he is destined to be with. The movies that have really grown on me because of the current state of mind I'm in. I have decided to stay away from my past childish behavior when it came to woman and just be on lookout for my true love. This is my religion and it's what keeps me going. Call me whatever you want, but it's what I believe and only time will tell whether I'm right or not.
And I'm assuming I'm not alone in my state of being because Hollywood keeps green-lighting these stories. The true love concurs all stories. This weekend's films tell us that and there is only a slight difference between the mutant Wolverine and the sleazy photographer in Ghosts of Girlfriends past. It's both taken them years to truly understand themselves (yes, Wolverine a 100 more years), but when they do it's all about love. And both of these characters must reinvent their value system because there former mentors gave them a lot of the wrong advice on life. And that advice has hurt a lot of people (in the case of Wolverine, killed a lot of people).
Ghosts of Girlfriends past is more Romantic than Comedy. In fact, that's probably the biggest critique I'll assume other reviewers and movie watchers will give it. We are used to more funny stuff happening in these 'gadget films'.
Definition of a Gadget Film - A movie based on an out of this world situation that a common man is given so he can learn the error of his ways. Recent examples are 17 Again and Yes, Man
We want to laugh in these films and Ghosts of Girlfriends past gives us a lot of great situations for that to occur. But they really wanted to give us more romance and have us feel for these characters more than laugh at them. And I'm curious why they decided in this. Perhaps the leads they were given.
Matthew McConaughey is a very charming guy, but he's not really a funny guy. Imagine Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson or even Ben Stiller in this role and you have yourself a much funnier film while also keeping the romantic theme intact. And the choice of Michael Douglas as the failed mentor disguised as Robert Evans was a golden opportunity for a lot of funny lines and great comedic pranks. But Douglas is also no comedian. It would of been great to have had Dustin Hoffman take another stab at playing Robert Evans (the first being 1997's Wag the Dog) where he could improv the situation and make sure that we laugh first and then cry second at the romance.
Ghosts of Girlfriends past is almost a forgotten film because we tend to remember funny things more than anything else in this world. Funny movie scenes and moments lead to people talking about them to their friends which leads to those friends also going to see the film. Many of the people may have cried a bit during this film in the screening I was in but those tears went away quick, because after all, we pretty much know for certain how the film will end. BUT, comedy never leaves us because whenever we think of the funny moment again, we laugh once again.
So more comedy was needed in this otherwise okay film.
And it's the first film in Matthew McConaughey's body of work where he didn't take his shirt off once. Perhaps he is getting lazy at the gym and is now embarrassed that he only has a 4 pack and not his trademark 6 pack.